An Indonesian woman was held captive in a cave for 15 years by a local shaman, according to CNN. The 28-year-old woman, who is identified as “H,” was found on Sunday.
Officers had been notified that Jago, an 83-year-old village shaman, had been holding the woman captive. After detaining and questioning Jago, they rescued the woman from a cave near Bajugan in Indonesia.
According to CNN, H’s family had brought her to the shaman for healing when she was 13 years old. Jago told H’s family that the girl had left. After looking for H, her family reported her missing.
Jago had a reputation in the community for providing “magical” healing and alternative medical treatments. Village residents would also consult him about romantic and personal problems.
According to police statements and CNN, Jago sexually assaulted H throughout her 15-year captivity. He claimed it was for magic.
“He would show her a photo of a man named Amrin, who he claimed was a jin, or genie. During sex, Amrin would then appear or enter Jago’s body,” Jago told police according to CNN.
Sugeng, a village resident, said Jago tricked H by promising to marry her to a “jin,” according to The Jakarta Post. According to the resident, he kept H in the cave by telling her it was guarded by a jin, making her “afraid to run away.”
The victim’s sister may have known about the captivity, according to The Jakarta Post. H’s sister is married to Jago’s son. A neighbor heard H’s sister and her husband having an argument, during which H’s sister threatened to report the kidnapping. The neighbor reported the argument to the police.
The police questioned both the sister and her husband, and they continue to be under investigation.
She was held captive in a cave for 15 years by a local spiritual healer who regularly raped her, police say https://t.co/WiVE994nDz
— CNN International (@cnni) August 8, 2018
National Commission on Violence Against Women Commissioner Magdalena Sitorus expressed concerns about other victims in a statement to The Jakarta Post.
“Since the perpetrator was well-respected in the village, there is a possibility that there are other victims that have not yet come forward because they are afraid,” she said.
She also encouraged local authorities to ensure H gets proper medical treatment, including psychological and reproductive health examinations.
“Who knows what kind of changes 15 years have brought her,” she said.
Local women’s rights activist Eva Vande also spoke out against Jago.
“The perpetrator needs to be severely punished,” she said, according to The Jakarta Post.
Local police are charging Jago under their 2014 Child Protection Law, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years.