Jailed French sex crime suspect kills self, Indonesia police say

Francois Camille Abello is presented to the media in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Thursday.
(Associated Press)

A French man accused of molesting more than 300 Indonesian children has died after apparently trying to kill himself in detention, police said Monday.

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 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 $17 and $70 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 before 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.

A conviction under Indonesia’s child protection laws could have carried the death penalty for Abello, Yunus said.