Haifa police were optimistic Wednesday that they would soon be able to indict a man suspected of imprisoning a young woman in his Haifa apartment and repeatedly raping, beating and sodomizing her.
The suspect, 40-year-old Rafael Yochaiev, appeared Wednesday afternoon in Haifa Magistrate's Court, where his remand was extended until Friday. Haifa Police Chief Asst.-Cmdr. David Ben Atiya said that he hoped that by Friday police would have gathered evidence toward indicting Yochaiev.
Two weeks ago, police and MDA teams were alerted to a young woman on a Haifa street who was seriously injured. The woman had apparently fallen from a third-story window, and police and rescue teams believed that she had tried to commit suicide.
Only after the woman regained consciousness 10 days later were investigators summoned to her hospital room, where she told detectives her harrowing tale.
The 22-year-old Tel Aviv resident said that she had met Yochaiev in a caf on Haifa's Rehov Nordau. After that meeting the two went to his apartment. There, the woman claims, Yochaiev imprisoned her, beating, raping and sodomizing her. After a day of terror she caught her captor off guard and took advantage of the moment, jumping out of his apartment's third story window to freedom, she said.
The woman was severely injured in the fall, and is still hospitalized with a broken hip.
Ben-Atiya said that when investigators questioned Yochaiev, he admitted that the two had met at the caf , and that she had later come with him to his apartment. He claimed, however, that he did not rape her, but rather that the woman suddenly and inexplicably jumped out of the window.
Police are currently questioning Yochaiev's neighbors to find corroborating testimony.
Ben-Atiya said that, unfortunately, he believed that this case was not as exceptional as it seemed, and was concerned that many women were raped and attacked without ever reporting the incidents to the police.
He said that he was optimistic that an indictment could be delivered against Yochaiev in the coming days.