Update: Francois Abello Camille was reported dead by apparent suicide on July 13, 2020 days after he was found unresponsive in his cell on July 9, 2020.
A French man is facing execution by firing squad in Indonesia after he was accused of molesting and beating over 300 children. The suspect, 65-year-old Francois Abello Camille, was arrested in a Jakarta hotel in June 2020.
Authorities reportedly found Camille with two underage girls in his hotel room.
Upon further investigation, police found numerous videos on Camille’s laptop, which showed him molesting many different children, who were estimated to have been between the ages of 10 and 17.
The footage was recorded with a hidden camera that Camille had installed in the room to record his crimes.
Police say Camille visited Indonesia on a tourist visa many times over the past five years, and that he would prey on children while he was in the country.
Camille allegedly pretended to be a photographer and made promises of turning the children into models. He would initially give them money to get them involved and build trust before he began to abuse them.
“He would approach children and lure them by offering them work as models. The ones who agreed to have sex with him would get paid between 250,000 and one million rupiah ($17-70),” Jakarta police chief Nana Sudjana told reporters, according to the Jakarta Post.
“We arrested him while he was in the hotel with two minors, one already naked and one half-naked. We took him to the [Jakarta] police headquarters immediately,” he added.
It is suspected that Camille has been committing these crimes in Indonesia for at least five years.
“It would be impossible to record hundreds of videos in one day. I believe it took him years to make them. Also, he has been living in Indonesia since 2015. I urge everyone who feel they were a victim of Frans to report it to us,” Sudjana said.
He also said that Camille would become extremely violent with the victims if they refused to have sex with him.
“Those who didn’t want to have sex would be beaten, slapped and kicked by the suspect,” he said.
Police say that most of the children approached by Camille were very poor and lived on the streets. Police have been able to track down at least 17 victims from the videos, but there is additional footage showing far more children being abused, which has led them to estimate that there are at least 300 victims.
The Indonesian government is taking the matter very seriously, and if convicted of the charges against him, Camille may face the death penalty. At the very least, he will spend a minimum of 10 years in prison.
“He [may] face the death penalty, with a minimum of 10 years or a maximum of 20 years of imprisonment,” Sudjana said.
Sadly, there are a significant number of wealthy and deranged westerners who travel abroad to prey on children, where there can seek our vulnerable orphans, and where they feel they are less likely to get caught.
According to the global anti-trafficking network ECPAT International, an estimated 70,000 children are victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation every year in Indonesia.
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