Police arrested three more men on Sunday morning in what they are calling
Jerusalem’s largest-ever pedophilia case, with at least nine men suspected of
abusing around 70 children in the Nahlaot neighborhood.RELATED:
Police do not
believe the suspects operated in an organized ring but rather that they knew of
one another and sometimes carried out the abuse in pairs. More arrests are
Knesset c'tee demands answers in J'lem pedophile case
Parents in the neighborhood claim there are more than 20
suspects and over 100 victims, some as young as two years old.
who was being investigated by police was found dead in his Nahlaot apartment two
weeks ago. Police classified his death as a suicide.
received a complaint of abuse in 2010 against a single suspect, who was arrested
but later released to house arrest. It wasn’t until July 2011 that more parents
began to come forward with complaints, and detectives realized that they were
dealing with multiple pedophiles and dozens of victims.
investigation unit was created to look into the children’s claims of abuse.
Investigating pedophilia is extremely difficult because children are so
impressionable that even hearing about other incidents from their parents can
compromise the investigation, a police source explained.
started as early as 2006 or 2007, but police believe that the haredi community
tried to take care of the problem internally for a number of years. They finally
turned to the police in July 2011 because they could no longer deal with the
problem themselves, a police source said.
Since the summer, there has
been significant cooperation between the haredi community and the police,
despite the fact that the haredi community in Nahlaot is usually reluctant to
cooperate with secular authorities.
Six men were arrested over the course
of the summer, but police were only able to gather enough evidence to indict
three of them, Binyamin Satz, Bentzion Primishelanu and Zalman Cohen. The three
men will remain incarcerated until the end of the legal proceedings against
On Sunday morning around 3, police arrested three additional
suspects, aged 19, 50 and 60, all religious men from Nahlaot. The Jerusalem
Magistrate’s Court extended their remand for five days.
Knesset members from the Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed outrage
that many of the suspects were still at large and coming into daily contact with
their supposed victims. A mother of eight, four of whom were allegedly abused,
gave heartbreaking testimony and said her son still met his abuser on the way to
the school bus despite sitting with investigators for more than 12
A police source said police had increased undercover patrols,
installed additional security cameras and met with parents to instruct them how
not to compromise the investigation.
“I’m just upset, I want to know
what’s happening,” Nahlaot resident R.S. said on Sunday. “I don’t know if the
legal system will convict the guilty, and I feel all the perpetrators haven’t
R.S. added that he knew one of the suspects personally
through a community garden in the neighborhood.