Indonesia jails ‘Catholic brother’ for molesting boys

Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) [Hong Kong]

January 21, 2022

By Katharina Reny Lestari

An Indonesian court has sentenced a “Catholic brother” to 14 years in jail for sexually assaulting boys at an orphanage near capital Jakarta.

Lukas “Lucky” Ngalngola, also known as Brother Angelo, was convicted by Depok District Court on Jan. 20 for threatening violence and committing lewd acts on at least three children.

He was also ordered to pay a fine of 100 million rupiah (US$6,990).

Ngalngola claimed to be a member of the Blessed Sacrament Missionaries of Charity (BSMC), an obscure order based in the Philippines.

The order founded the Kencana Bejana Rohani Foundation which ran the orphanage in the city of Depok, West Java province, where the abuses were committed.

The abuse first came to light when three boys living at the orphanage filed a police report against Ngalngola in September 2019.

They claimed they were sexually abused by Ngalngola on a regular basis over a prolonged period.

Police arrested Ngalngola but released him three months later after investigators failed to complete a report for prosecutors to bring the case to court.

They cited their inability to find the whereabouts of the boys to get additional statements requested by prosecutors as the reason.

The case was reopened in September 2020 after Darius Rebong, who took over running the orphanage, filed another police report against Ngalngola.

Six months later, however, Ngalngola remained free, prompting accusations the police were dragging their feet in the case.

Ngalngola was arrested in March last year.

Following the Jan. 20 verdict, Ngalngola said he would file an appeal “in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to a panel of fair judges.”

Speaking to UCA News, Rebong said he had to respect the legal process even though “the sentence will not be able to heal the victims’ suffering.”

“Their suffering will remain. The boys’ future will be affected by these criminal acts attested to by the fact they still need counseling,” he said, adding the boys were still living at the orphanage with 36 other children.

He said one of the victims had even lamented that the court did not sentence Ngalngola to death. “This shows how deep their inner wounds are,” he said.