(photo credit: PR)
The father of famous singer Eyal Golan, Dani Biton, was indicted in the Tel Aviv District Court as part of a plea bargain on Monday for a scheme of exploiting his connection with female minors to press them into providing sexual favors to him and his associates.
The Jerusalem Post
The Tel Aviv District Attorney's Office filed the indictment, which does not reference Golan's sexual relationships with any of the women despite certain admissions he made, since the case against him was closed in February 2014 on the grounds that he did not know that any of the women were underage.
has learned that Biton may serve up to two years in prison and may need to pay NIS 50,000 to three separate victims if the plea bargain is approved by the court.
The indictment paints a picture of Biton using the fact that certain women and underage girls wanted to get closer to Golan as well as their social and economic insecurities to manipulate them into providing sexual services, eventually rising to the level of prostitution.
Biton also is accused of paying the underage girls and giving them presents for the sexual services they provided.
Though technically, aspects of the sexual acts might have been consensual, legally and in light of the girls' minor status and Biton's exploitation, the indictment declares Biton's actions as clearly criminal.
The Golan case broke open in late 2013 and took the country by storm.
The singer, for years one of Israel's top recording artists and the former host of his own reality show singing competition and a judge on a second show, was among several men arrested in November 2013 after allegations surfaced that he had sex with minors.
The allegations, which became part of a media storm that dominated the Israeli news, involved claims that Golan and his inner circle held “sex parties” involving drugs and karaoke, where underage girls had sex with men twice their age or older.
A few days after the case broke Golan and five other men were brought in for questioning, though Golan was soon released to house arrest.
When the case against Golan was closed, he said “I want to thank my mother, my children, and the fans who supported me the entire time." What I had in my heart I wrote yesterday”.
Golan had proclaimed his innocence saying “in the last three months, I have endured very difficult days. I am aware that the Israeli public is angry and confused over what happened, and I am sorry about this.”
He also denied that he knowingly slept with an underage girl, saying she misrepresented herself.
“There was an embarrassing situation in which I told police that my father came to my house together with two women without my knowledge or my consent,” Golan said.
“One of the women said that she was 21 years old. I then became suspicious that this girl was younger. I asked her how old she was, and she acknowledged that she was just 17 years old.”
“At that moment, I immediately left the apartment in order to avoid doing harm to her honor,” the singer said.
Golan said that he “never committed an act that would be an affront to a woman or a man,” and that the women who made the original allegations against him were caught in a lie.
The singer said that he had dismissed his formerly trusted associates after it became clear that they were involved in “deeds that aren’t to be done.”
“I feel that my blood has been spilled of late and that I have been hanged in the town square with a large rope and everyone who passes by is throwing a brick at me and I am unable to respond,” he said
He also put much of the blame on his father, saying that one of the biggest mistakes he made was letting his father back into his inner circle decades after he abandoned him as a child.
From the beginning the case against Golan was plagued by unreliable witnesses, including at least one girl who later recanted her testimony against the singer. Golan himself has repeatedly stated that he did not sleep with any girls that he knew were underage.
The case has led to a public backlash against Golan, who has seen concerts canceled and a serious downturn in the amount of airtime his songs get on Israeli radio. In addition, he was asked to step down from his spot as a judge on the reality show “The Next Star”.
The Golan case also created a public debate about the use of gag orders, in that the press was banned form publishing his name for almost a week, having instead to write “the famous singer” even after most of the Israeli public knew that the suspect in question was Golan.