Herry, 36, had been sentenced to life in prison in February, in a case that drew national attention to sexual abuse in the country’s religious schools, according to AFP.
But an appeal was filed by the prosecutors, who had requested the death penalty and chemical castration.
“We accept the appeal of the prosecutors,” read the judge’s statement, published Monday on the website of the High Court in Bandung, West Java province.
“We hereby punish the defendant to a death sentence.”
According to the report, Herry’s pattern of abuse at the school, also in Bandung, came to light when the family of a female student reported him to the police for raping and impregnating their teenage daughter last year (2021).
It was revealed during his previous trial that Herry had raped the female students, many from poor families and attending the school on scholarships, over a period of five years. He also impregnated at least eight of them.
Before the lower court, the defendant asked the judge for leniency, saying he wanted to be around to raise his children.
A relative of one of the victims noted that Monday’s sentence brought justice for the victims
“We initially wanted punishments of life in prison and chemical castration so that he would feel the pain from his crime,” said Hidmat Dijaya, uncle of one of the victims.
“But we still feel the death sentence represents justice.”
The case drew national outrage and increased pressure on parliament to approve a long-delayed bill on the “elimination of sexual violence”, that seeks to combat sex crimes and provide justice to victims, including in cases of marital rape.