(photo credit: INIMAGE)
A middle-aged Orthodox guided-imagery therapist was indicted on a litany of sexual assault charges by Jerusalem District Court on Sunday, two weeks after being arrested for allegedly raping three sisters, all of whom were his patients and family friends.
The defendant, Alon Shamir, 50, remains in police custody after a judge deemed him an imminent threat to the ongoing investigation, and to the women themselves.
According to the indictment, Shamir began treating the eldest unidentified sister, then 18, in 2006 for four years, shortly after obtaining his license to practice mind-body therapy, which some experts dismiss as pseudo-science.
Shamir met weekly with the teen, now 27, in his home, car, parks, hotel lobbies, and several cafes, and allegedly showed her pornographic films during therapy sessions. He is accused of fondling and raping her during some of the sessions, the indictment states.
Eight years later, he began treating a second sister, now 25, whom he is accused of fondling and raping – including during one instance when he claimed he needed to examine her hymen.
Last year, he proceeded to treat and allegedly sexually assault and rape a third sister, then a minor, the indictment states.
It was not until shortly after the third sister’s assault that the three realized they had all been raped by Shamir, according to the indictment. Upon learning of his daughters’ allegations, their father contacted the police, who opened an investigation, resulting in his arrest late last month.
Shamir has been charged with multiple counts of rape, sexual assault, and having sexual relations with a client.
His attorney, Shiran Golbary, claimed Shamir is innocent of the charges.
“The indictment raises many questions and issues [about the allegations],” Golbary said in a statement. “This is an innocent man, and we are certain that after we have read and gone through the appropriate documents, that will become clear.”