(photo credit: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich)
Two males, aged 17 and 22, from Netanya were arrested Wednesday on suspicion that they raped a girl aged 12 that they met on Facebook.
Fifteen other teenagers, aged between 13 and 15, from the central region were also arrested on suspicion that they had sexual relations with the girl.
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The suspects claimed during their investigation that the girl had consented to have sex with them and told them that she was 17-years-old.
The two older males will be brought to a remand extension hearing at Netanya Magistrate's Court.
An investigation into the incident began several weeks ago after police
received reports from Social Services that that a 12-year-old girl had
become pregnant. The girl had an abortion and authorities suspected that she
had been raped.
Initial police reports suggest that the males would arrange meetings
with the young girl in different places including public parks and bomb
During the meetings, the suspects allegedly had sexual intercourse with the girl and as a result she became pregnant.
The suspects claimed during police investigations that the girl would
contact them through the social networking site Facebook claiming that
she was 17-years-old.
They claimed that they had no idea that she was not the age that she claimed she was.
In related news, a teenager from the central region committed suicide after speaking with his friends on Facebook who convinced him to carry out the act, Israel Radio reported Wednesday.
The boy's body was found on Tuesday by family members at his home.
During a Facebook chat session, one of the boy's friends told him to put an end to his life. Parts of the chat were erased by the teenagers after they were informed that he actually acted on their calls to commit suicide.