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Bali murder suspect says she was sexually assaulted in jail

A police officer escorts Heather Mack, 19, (center) during an investigation at a police office in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on August 13, 2014. SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images

CHICAGO - A lawyer for Heather Mack, the 19-year-old Chicago woman accused of killing her mother on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, says his client claims she has been sexually assaulted while in custody there.

Michael Elkin, Mack's lawyer who is stationed in Chicago, says Mack told him over the phone - through tears - that she had been touched inappropriately on three occasions, reports CBS Chicago.

According to NBC Chicago, Elkin says his client is two months pregnant.

sheila-von-wiese-mack.jpg
Sheila von Wiese-Mack
CBS News
CBS Chicago reports Elkin says he has serious concerns about his client's health and says she sounded dazed, confused and incoherent during their conversation.

When Elkin asked his client why she sounded incoherent, the teen reportedly told him she's not being given enough water and has been given strange vitamin pills by authorities, according to the station.

Elkin also reportedly said that a team of lawyers, private investigators and doctors are getting ready to head to Bali soon.

He says Mack is innocent of any involvement in her mother's death.

Mack and her boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, 21, both from Chicago, were arrested in Bali's Kuta area Wednesday, August 13, a day after the body of Sheila von Wiese-Mack was found stuffed inside a suitcase in the trunk of a taxi parked in front of the upscale St. Regis Bali Resort in the island's exclusive Nusa Dua section.

An autopsy found that von Wiese-Mack, 62, died of asphyxiation from a broken nose bone resulting from a blunt blow, said Ida Bagus Putu Alit, head of forensics at Sanglah Hospital in Bali's provincial capital of Denpasar. She also suffered from a broken neck, Alit said.

Mack and Schaefer have not been charged in the killing, but Indonesian police say they are investigating it as a possible case of premeditated murder, which carries a maximum sentence of death.

Col. Djoko Hari Utomo, chief of police for Denpasar, said Saturday that the couple was still refusing to talk to investigators without the presence of American lawyers.

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The suitcase found containing the body of an American woman, displayed at a police station in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images

"But that does not hamper our investigation. We have enough evidence, including CCTV and fingerprints," Utomo said. "And I am inclined to charge them with premeditated murder."

An FBI agent arrived Friday to help with the investigation, including the couple's possible involvement in criminal activity in the United States, Utomo said.

Von Wiese-Mack, also from Chicago, and her daughter arrived at the St. Regis on Aug. 9, while Schaefer checked in on Monday, two days later, according to police. Security camera video showed that the victim had an argument with Schaefer on Monday in the hotel's lobby.

Police say Mack and Schaefer placed the suitcase inside the trunk of the taxi, and asked the driver to wait while they checked out of the hotel. However, they didn't return, and hotel security guards who had found blood spots on the suitcase suggested that the driver take the taxi to a police station, where officers opened the suitcase and discovered the body.

The couple told investigators that von Wiese-Mack was killed by robbers while they managed to escape, Utomo said.

Authorities in an upscale Chicago suburb, Oak Park, have examined records of 86 incidents in which police were called to the house where von Wiese-Mack lived with her daughter. Friends have alleged that the mother-daughter relationship was sometimes contentious.


  • Crimesider Staff

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