Jaffa shop owners sentenced to jail for up to 4.5 years for sexual assault of US tourist

The 25-year-old American was sexually assaulted in middle of afternoon in the market.

April 15, 2015 13:01
1 minute read.
Jaffa flea market

Jaffa flea market. (photo credit: PR)

The Tel Aviv District Court on Wednesday sentenced two Jaffa flea market shop owners for the sexual assault of a 25-year-old tourist from the US in June 2013.

The woman was sexually assaulted in the middle of the afternoon at a store in the Jaffa flea market by Avraham Shamian, 39, a resident of Ra’anana, sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison, and Shimon Rachmani, 44, a resident of Holon, sentenced to eight months in prison.

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According to the indictment, the woman came to the flea market on Monday afternoon – when it is typically full of visitors – and entered a store. She chose a ring, the indictment said, and gave Shamian NIS 200 to pay for the ring. Shamian refused to give her change and suggested she buy other jewelry items. Next, noted the indictment, the owner brought her into a corner of the store and assaulted her, while threatening her. Shamian then told the tourist he was leaving briefly, and that if she tried to flee it would be “suicide” for her.

The indictment stated that she was too fearful to leave and waited until he returned, raped and sexually assaulted her further.
Next, Shamian allegedly brought her against her will to Rachmani's store. Shamian offered her clothes, which she refused, and he then sexually assaulted her.

The Ra’anana man is reportedly a religious father of four.

The attorney for the first defendant originally said that the act was consensual, and that he told him that after the assault, the woman kissed him on the cheek and thanked him. The attorney also asked why, if it was a sexual assault, did she not cry out for help, while being taken to the second store, which required walking past six other stores on a street full of shoppers.

The police said the woman issued a police complaint the day after the sexual assault. She had spoken to relatives who live in Israel, who advised her on how to issue a complaint, they added.

Ben Hartman contributed to this story.

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