Australian national Robert Ellis has been jailed for 15 years for sexually abusing 11 girls aged between 7 and 17 years in Bali. An Indonesian court handed the sentence on Tuesday (25 October) as the 70-year-old was found guilty of grooming and abusing the girls over a period of two years.
According to Reuters, the man would lure his victims with gifts and money and would take them to his home in Bali, where he would bathe and sexually assaulted them.
Presiding Judge I Wayan Sukanila said: "He has been proven to have molested children in Bali, which has a big impact for their future psychological development. And secondly, his crime can stain Indonesia's tourism image and especially Bali." He ordered Ellis to pay a fine of Rs 2bn (£119,214).
Ellis' lawyer, Yanuar Nahak said that his client will appeal against the sentence. "We will appeal because we believe the judge was not objective in making the decision," he said.
Before being taken out of court, Ellis told reporters, "I have nothing more to say, I'm sorry. Well, I am 70 now, 15 years would take me to 85. I don't know if I'll live that long."
At a news conference held at the court last week, Ellis had claimed that he was innocent and said that he had paid generously to his victims to give them mandi – Indonesian word for bath. "Try and interview the girls if you can, try and interview the girls and see if they want me in here being punished," he said.
After a series of paedophile cases were uncovered in Bali – most involving Australian citizens – police from both countries joined hands to stop Australian child sex offenders from travelling to Indonesia.