abuse victim 88.
(photo credit: )
Five more suspects were arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of gang-raping a 27-year-old mentally disabled woman over the past two months, bringing the total number of suspects in custody to 11.
The five were remanded for three days by the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court. Five of the other six suspects, who were arrested on Sunday, will be brought before the court on Wednesday for another remand hearing. Another three men from Jerusalem and the surrounding area are being investigated for alleged involvement in the affair.
Jerusalem police are investigating the possibility that the woman was raped on least three different occasions by a total of 14 men - including three soldiers and a border policeman.
The first incident allegedly occurred two months ago at the hands of some of the suspects. According to police, the woman was gang-raped again a day after Independence Day, and once more after that.
In the second case, 10 men were allegedly involved in the rape at the apartment of one of the suspects, Itamar Nadav, in Jerusalem's Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood. The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court extended Nadav's remand by five days on Monday. In the third case, eight men were allegedly involved in raping the woman. At the request of the suspects' lawyer, the court banned publication of their names or any identifying information.
Police said Nadav - who was involved in all three incidents - had apparently met the woman recently, and a friendship, which included sex, had developed. In his testimony, Nadav said he had not been aware of her disability.
The woman recently filed a police complaint alleging that on the day after Independence Day, she was held at Nadav's apartment against her will, prevented from using her mobile phone, and raped. She said that on another occasion, she was allegedly raped in the presence of two female friends whom she said she knew from the institution where she resides.
The police and the suspects' lawyer, Ariel Atari, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that Nadav had not denied the sexual relations with the woman but had claimed everything was consensual. On Monday, Atari presented the court with a blunt text message the plaintiff had allegedly sent to Nadav's mobile phone, in which she wrote that she enjoyed having sex with him.
"Another piece of illuminating information was revealed today in court when a policewoman who spoke to the plaintiff for a long time as she was filing her complaint last Thursday could not tell she was disabled," Atari said.
"The suspects admitted to the judge they had consensual sex with the plaintiff, but all of them firmly claimed they had no idea she was disabled. Whether or not it is okay for many men to have sex with one woman is a cultural question. There are people in Israel who stand in line for sex and pay for it. It is not illegal to participate in an orgy - maybe it's immoral. Unfortunately the judge, who is a woman and religious, couldn't seem to understand the fact that there are women who have sex, for money or not, with more than 10 men in one day," Atari said.
Also Tuesday, the Jerusalem district attorney charged a 50-year-old east Jerusalem resident with raping his two daughters, aged 14 and 16 - the latter of whom is mentally disabled.
According to the indictment, the father photographed his 16-year-old daughter naked, against her will. The younger sister complained to her grandmother, who warned the father not to repeat his actions. The father then whipped his daughter with a belt for complaining, the charge sheet said.
Einat Rubin, spokeswoman for the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, told the Post on Tuesday that despite the recent increase in publicized cases of sexual abuse by family members or by acquaintances, there was no actual increase in the number of calls to rape crisis centers.
According to Rubin, the country's rape crisis centers received around 39,000 calls in 2006, almost 9,000 of which were from women filing complaints for the first time since the sexual abuse occurred.
"Unfortunately only 20 percent of the women and men who turn to us about a sexual harassment or a rape they experienced eventually file a formal complaint with the police. However, the statistics predict that one out of every three women will be sexually attacked during her lifetime, be it sexual harassment or rape," Rubin said.
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