A sexual predator spent the past three years assaulting teenage boys in Haifa, methodically selecting, grooming, and having his way with his victims, police said Wednesday.

The suspect, a 50-something resident of the city’s southern neighborhood’s whose name has not been cleared for publication, is believed to have sexually assaulted at least 7 boys between the ages of 13-17. Police said the suspect met the alleged victims in his neighborhood, and spent time slowly building up their trust, before inviting them to his house, where he would sexually assault them.

The case only came to light on Wednesday, after the Haifa Magistrate’s Court lifted a gag order on the investigation. Police first caught wind of the suspect when they received a complaint from one of his alleged victims several months ago. The juvenile unit of the YAMAR investigative team’s Coastal region began interviewing residents of his neighborhood and eventually interviewed seven different boys who said they were assaulted by the man.

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