(photo credit: Courtesy)
A Tel Aviv court convicted Adrian Schwartz early this week of raping a child in Jerusalem in 1991, the court announced Thursday. The conviction was Schwartz's second for the crime. He was first convicted in 1992 but was then acquitted after appealing to the High Court of Justice.
The indictment against Schwartz, 65, included seven counts of rape, but he was only convicted of one, for seducing a ten-year-old girl he met on the street and raping her in a warehouse in Jerusalem.
In September 2005, Supreme Court justice Edmond Levy decided to hold a retrial, after Schwartz insisted for years that his conviction was mistaken. Levy based his decision on an inconclusive DNA test, which found Schwartz's DNA but also someone else's on the scene of the crime, thus opening up the possibility that Schwartz was not exclusively responsible for the crime.
During the retrial, the opinions of seven experts, four for the prosecution and three for the defense, were presented. A panel of judges headed by Judge Bracha Ophir-Tom decided that the DNA test could not rule out Schwartz's involvement.
After Schwartz was re-convicted, the girl's family thanked the prosecution. "We hope the court will sentence him to a harsh punishment, so that her suffering over the long trial is addressed," said the family.
An attorney for the prosecution said the time had come to "adopt the principle used in England and nullify the 'double risk' principle and if there is new evidence, to hold a retrial to convict those wrongly acquitted."