Two vendors at Jaffa flea market convicted of raping American tourist

25-year-old woman was raped and sexually assaulted after entering jewelery store in flea market.

March 22, 2015 18:12
1 minute read.
Jaffa flea market

Jaffa flea market. (photo credit: PR)

Two vendors at the Jaffa flea market were convicted on Sunday at the Tel Aviv District Court of rape and sexual assault against a 25 year-old US tourist who in June 2013. The victim had originally been in Israel as part of a Taglit-Birthright trip, and had decided to extend her stay when the incident occurred.

Avraham Semian, 41, of Ra'anana was convicted of rape and sexual assault and Shimshon Rahmani, 46, of Holon was convicted of sexual assault.

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

She was too fearful to leave and waited until he returned and raped and sexually assaulted her further.

Next, Semian brought her against her will to Rahmani’s store. Rahmani offered her clothes, which she refused, and he then sexually assaulted her.

The victim then ran away from Rahmani's store, and complained to police. The suspects were arrested and indicted.

The court rejected Semian's claims that he had consensual sexual relations with the victim after she came in his store. The judges also rejected Rahmani's claim that he had merely showed her dresses.

Ben Hartman and Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.

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