Accused Australian paedophile Robert Ellis says alleged molestation 'was not a serious thing'
Accused Australian paedophile Robert Andrew Fiddes Ellis has insisted he does not deserve jail for allegedly molesting Balinese children, saying "it was not a serious thing" and he "paid them generously".
"I have settled with the girls completely. I have paid them generously," he told the media while waiting to be sentenced in the Denpasar District Court.
The 70-year-old Australian expat from Victoria was due to be sentenced on Tuesday for allegedly sexually abusing at least 11 girls aged between eight and 17 between 2014 and 2015.
However it was adjourned until October 25.
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Prosecutors claim Ellis admitted to digital anal penetration of some of the girls while bathing them in his rental property in the Bali town of Tabanan, where he had lived since 2013.
"It's not a serious thing. I know it's not serious," Ellis said.
He told reporters he would give the girls a "mandi", the Indonesian word for bath. He said they would negotiate a price of 200,000 to 300,000 Rupiah ($NZD21 to $32) if the girls had a bath.
"If you don't want it that's ok," Ellis said he told them. He denied having "sexual relations" with any of the girls.
Asked if the parents had been aware of what was going on, Ellis said: "The parents know now but they didn't know before."
Earlier this month former Victorian police officer Glen Hulley, whose anti-child sex exploitation organisation Project Karma helped facilitate Ellis' arrest, told Fairfax Media this was "by far the worst case I've ever seen of an Australian committing this kind of offence in Bali".
He said he would like to see Ellis sentenced to life imprisonment.
But Ellis said he didn't know it was a crime. "I know now," he told reporters.
Ellis told reporters he should be acquitted.
Referring to the girls he is accused of abusing as his "friends", Ellis said:
"I haven't hurt anybody and none of my friends want me in prison I am sure of that. None of them want me in here."
Indonesia has recently passed legislation that would allow judges to impose chemical castration for child sex offences.
However this will not apply to Ellis as the legislation is not retrospective and prosecutors have instead requested 16 years' jail.
But Ellis said he knew for certain he hadn't done "anything serious enough to be in prison".
"I had my doubts the prosecutors and judges here are properly qualified," he said.
"I am always thinking of them (the girls), they are my friends. Try and interview the girls if you can. See if they really want me in here being punished."
Meanwhile, an Australian registered child sex offender with the initials "BD" was sent back to Australia at 6.25am on October 18 after he attempted to enter Indonesia at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta airport.
Since 2014, the number of Australian registered sex offenders travelling to Indonesia has dropped significantly after Indonesia agreed to act on tip-offs from Australia.
"The average number of registered child sex offenders travelling to Indonesia per month has been reduced from 21 in the year 2014, to 10 in the year 2015, and currently five in the year 2016 to date."
Heru Santosa from the Directorate General of Immigration said BD had arrived in Jakarta on an AirAsia flight from Kuala Lumpur on October 17.
Santosa said the man's name was on the immigration entry ban list.
"In line with Australian police information (the person) is related to a paedophilia offence," he said.
"Based on the 2014 agreement, Australian Federal Police will notify us every time a sexual felon enters Indonesia."
Santosa said there were more than 100 names of sexual felons including paedophiles on the database supplied by the AFP.
- The Age