A man police believe carried out a series of violent sexual assaults against children in Petah Tikva was arrested on Monday.
Police first caught wind of the suspected rapist in December 2008, when they received several complaints from parents saying their children had been assaulted by a pedophile. An investigation was opened and on Monday night, officers put handcuffs on a 23-year-old local man they suspect terrorized children over the course of a year.
Police have so far linked the suspect to attacks on five children between the ages of eight and 14. None of the victims knew the attacker and all of the attacks reportedly happened after the suspect met them in the street and through the use of threats and violence, took them into side streets and assaulted them. The attacks were violent and the suspect used force to subdue his victims, police said.
The case was reportedly cracked after a long investigation in which officers used DNA samples, witness testimony, and long hours of undercover work to track down the alleged rapist.
The suspect, who has no record of sex crimes, was brought to a Petah Tikva court on Tuesday, where his remand was extended by five days.
He reportedly told interrogators that if he had committed the assaults, then it means he is sick and in need of treatment. The suspect said that he loves to drink and when he does, he loses control and gives in to his impulses. He added that the crimes took place when he was intoxicated and unable to control himself. He also reportedly expressed remorse for his actions.
A police representative told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that police suspect there are several additional victims who have not yet come forward.