A traditional healer in Indonesia is accused of imprisoning a 12-year-old girl and tricking her into having sex with him for 15 years, according to local authorities who located the victim this week following a tip-off.
The woman, now aged 28 and identified by the initial “H,” was rescued by police in Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province on Sunday, Reuters reports, after her sister alerted neighbors nearby that she was being held nearby.
Police identified the woman in a rocky jungle chasm near the village where she had been held since her disappearance in 2003.
According to police, the witch doctor, identified by the initials “JG” and now 83 years old, claimed to be possessed by the “jin,” or spirit, of a more age-appropriate boy, who the girl “thought was her boyfriend.”
“She was led to believe that [the boy’s] spirit had entered [the elderly man’s] body,” Central Sulawesi Police Chief Muhammad Iqbal Alqudusy told reporters Tuesday. “It is obvious that he was satisfying his lust.”
The girl had also been married to the son of the shaman, according to Reuters, who was known in the area as a spirit medium and for offering traditional healing remedies. He accounted for the girl’s disappearance by alleging that she had left home to work in Jakarta, the country’s capital.
The man, who admitted to sexual relations with the woman dating back to 2008, has been charged under Indonesia’s child protection laws, and faces up to 15 years in prison.