Jailed French suspected of child molestation kills self

JAKARTA (AP) – A French man accused of molesting over 300 Indonesian children has died after apparently trying to kill himself in detention, police said yesterday.

Francois Camille Abello was taken to a hospital after a guard found him lying in his cell with a wire wrapped around his neck, Jakarta police spokesman Yusri Yunus said.

“His condition was stable a day later, but then deteriorated (because) of brain damage due to lack of oxygen after suicide attempt,” Yunus said.

Abello, 65, had been paraded in handcuffs at a news conference on Thursday where police said videos on his computer showed him engaging in illegal sex acts with 305 children aged 10 to 17. Abello remained silent at the news conference.

Jakarta Police Chief Nana Sudjana said Abello had not cooperated with investigators and refused to provide passwords for programs on his computer.

He said most of the victims were street children whom Abello had approached and offered work as models. Abello paid them between INR250,000 and INR1 million (USD17 and USD70) for engaging in sex acts and beat those who refused, Sudjana said.

Police are still investigating whether he has also exploited his victims economically through social media or other Internet platforms prior to his death.

French embassy officials were not available for comment.

Abello was arrested late last month in a hotel room in western Jakarta where he was found with two naked girls after police had received a tip from nearby residents who suspected a foreigner at the hotel was exploiting children.