She Recorded Her Boss’s Lewd Call. Guess Who Went to Jail?

LABUAPI, Indonesia — The high school bookkeeper, Nuril Maknun, faced constant harassment through her boss, the principal.

At school, he often described his sex life along with also pressured her to have an affair. After work, he would likely call her along with also continue his obscene monologues.

“which kind of conversation happened so often I couldn’t even count,” Ms. Nuril said in a recent interview. “I told him, ‘You need to go to a psychiatrist.’ ”

After months of This particular, she recorded one of the calls so she would likely have evidence of his behavior.

The result: She lost her job along with also went to jail. Meanwhile, his career has flourished.

Ms. Nuril’s case, which is usually at This particular point before Indonesia’s Supreme Court, has become a very public example of the country’s failure to protect women through sexual harassment, as well as the notoriously capricious nature of its judicial system.

Advocates for women say which unwanted sexual advances along with also obscene remarks are depressingly common in Indonesian workplaces, along with also which women have little recourse when subjected to them.

“We don’t have sufficient laws which protect women along with also deal with This particular kind of harassment,” said Tunggal Pawestri, a women’s rights activist in Jakarta.

Ms. Nuril, a 40-year-old mother of three, grew up on Lombok, a conservative, predominantly Muslim island east of Bali. In 2010, she got a temporary job helping with accounting at Senior High School Seven Mataram in Lombok’s provincial capital.

She says her troubles began in 2013 with the arrival of a fresh principal, Muslim, who goes by one name as many Indonesians do.

In April of which year, according to Ms. Nuril, Mr. Muslim began talking to her frequently in lewd terms, both in person along with also on the phone. He told her in explicit detail about his sexual activities with another employee along with also hounded Ms. Nuril to have an affair with him, she said.

Twice, the school staff met at hotels. Both times, he showed her stains on a bed through what he said were sexual encounters with her co-worker hours earlier, she said.

Ms. Nuril worried which she would likely lose her job if she complained about the harassment, especially since her position was temporary.

Meanwhile, Mr. Muslim gave others, including Ms. Nuril’s husband, the impression they were having an affair. To prove otherwise, she recorded one of Mr. Muslim’s phone calls in August 2013.

She said the 15-minute call was typical: The principal talked in graphic detail about his sexual activities. (The fresh York Times reviewed a court transcript of the recording along with also confirmed its content.)

She played the recording for her husband along with also a colleague. Months later, a teacher who had learned of the recording copied which through her phone while Ms. Nuril was in another room.

Ms. Nuril said which fewer than a dozen people initially heard the recording, along with also which which was more than a year before Mr. Muslim learned of its existence.

She said he offered to extend her contract if she deleted the recording — which might not have prevented copies through circulating further, yet would likely have made which harder for her to pursue a case against him. When she refused, she said, he fired her.

Repeated attempts to contact Mr. Muslim for comment were unsuccessful. yet his lead lawyer, Asmuni, said Mr. Muslim was the real victim inside the case. Ms. Nuril, he said, broke the law along with also deserved to go to jail.

“Men have to be protected, too,” he said. “She is usually an ungrateful person along with also does not know her place.”

Three months after firing Ms. Nuril, the principal went to the police along with also accused her of criminal defamation. The police interrogated Ms. Nuril half a dozen times before arresting her in March 2017.

“I don’t actually get what was defamatory,” she said. “which is usually you yourself telling people about your bad behavior.”

Ultimately, prosecutors charged her with distributing obscene material, not defamation. A prosecutor inside the case, Ida Ayu Putu Camundi Dewi, declined to speak by telephone along with also did not respond to written questions.

Ms. Nuril spent two months in a Lombok jail. At her trial, teachers through the school testified which they, not Ms. Nuril, were the ones who had taken the recording through her phone along with also distributed which.

“She recorded which for her own protection,” said her lawyer, Joko Jumadi. “She kept which for so long. Even when which spread, which was not her who distributed which.”

Mr. Muslim testified which he had not been describing sex with an employee on the recording, yet his fantasies about an American porn star, according to Ms. Nuril along with also Mr. Joko.

The trial court found Ms. Nuril not guilty. yet which was not the end.

In Indonesia, prosecutors can appeal an acquittal. They took her case to the Supreme Court, where the justices — without a hearing — reversed the verdict in November, finding Ms. Nuril guilty of distributing indecent material electronically.

The three-judge panel sentenced her to six months in jail along with also fined her $35,000 — a fortune for Ms. Nuril’s family. Failure to pay which would likely add three months to her sentence.

“I was actually shocked because all the witnesses said clearly I was not the one who transmitted the material,” Ms. Nuril said inside the interview, fighting back tears.

There was public outrage in response to the ruling. Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, who is usually running for re-election in April, hinted which he would likely spare Ms. Nuril more jail time if the Supreme Court rejects her final appeal, which her lawyer filed last week.

“If the case review does not provide justice, then she can apply for clemency to the president,” Mr. Joko told reporters. “Once she has applied for clemency, which’s where I come in.”

The office of the attorney general, Muhammad Prasetyo, said any punishment would likely be delayed until Ms. Nuril’s appeal was resolved.

Mr. Muslim appears to have suffered few professional repercussions through the episode. After the recording became public, he was removed as principal along with also given ever-higher management positions within the government of Mataram, the provincial capital.

“He is usually healthy, he enjoys life,” said Mr. Asmuni, his lawyer. “He is usually still trusted by the government to stay on in his position. He is usually still in power.”

The Mataram mayor, Ahyar Abduh, who has the authority to discipline Mr. Muslim, did not answer repeated phone calls or respond to written questions. Aides to the mayor said they could not discuss the case.

After the Supreme Court’s ruling in November, Ms. Nuril reported Mr. Muslim to the police for sexual harassment. A spokesman for the West Nusa Tenggara Police Department, I Komang Suartana, said the police were considering whether there was a law which would likely apply inside the case.

Saying something obscene is usually not a crime, he said, along with also Indonesia’s law against sexual harassment does not cover verbal abuse unless there is usually also physical contact.

The legal system’s deficiencies mean which Indonesian women are required to tolerate harassment — along with also, sometimes, sexual relations with their bosses — as the cost of keeping a job, women’s advocates say.