(photo credit: INIMAGE)
A convicted pedophile stalked and attacked dozens of pre-teen girls in and around Holon in recent months, luring them into stairwells and secluded areas, before attacking them, police say.
The suspect, Uri Rivkin, a 52-year-old resident of Ashdod, was arrested on Monday night, after the Tel Aviv police has released a photo and video of the man, asking for anyone with information about his identity to come forward.
On Tuesday morning the suspect was brought to the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court, where he was ordered kept in custody for five days while police finish building their case against him.
In court, police said that over the course of several hours of questioning on Monday night, he linked himself to a number of the attacks, and performed a reenactment for the police at one of the crime scenes.
Attorney Daniel Solan requested a gag order banning the publication of Rivkin’s name, citing the fact that his wife works for a women’s-rights organization and his brother has a prominent position in the Israel Electric Corporation.
The request was denied, after police and prosecutors said that publishing his face and name may help further victims come forward.
During his hearing on Tuesday it was said he was convicted for sex crimes against minors in 2001, 2006 and 2013, and that he had recently stopped taking medication and receiving treatment for his problem.
Rivkin allegedly had a very specific modus operandi in a number of the attacks. According to police, he’d approach girls aged 10 to 11 near apartment buildings, and tell them he was a swimming teacher or fashion photographer and ask them to try on swimsuits for him to see how they fit. According to the police, he would then follow them into a hidden area such as a stairwell, where he would sexually assault them.
On Monday night, police said that Rivkin may have committed dozens of such attacks in recent months, and repeated their call for the public to come forward if anyone knows of information about additional attacks connected to him.