Prison jail generic.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Three youths were found guilty by the Haifa District Court of severe sexual
offenses and abuse against an American- Israeli teenager who had been wrongly
sent to the Kishon Detention Center near Haifa in November 2009.
youth, “Shin,” who recently turned 18, was brutally gang-raped by juvenile
inmates at the prison after being placed in a cell together with them for a
weekend while waiting for a remand hearing, the court found.
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defendants are three minors from Hadera, Haifa and the village of Machar, near
Acre. They were found guilty of aggravated sodomy, aggravated assault – which
took the form of piercing Shin’s ear with an electric cable to mark him as a
“slave” – and disrupting an investigation.
They are due to be sentenced
later this week.
“We hugged and cried together,” Shin’s stepfather, Lior,
told The Jerusalem Post
after the verdict was read.
“I’m overwhelmed. I
know it’s good news – but emotionally, I’m devastated. This is a vindication for
my son. It’s closure for him. But it’s still been very rough
Shin’s mother said, “There were so many attempts to doubt
my son. He was accused of lying so many times. That hurt. But justice has been
done in Israel. I don’t care how long it took. I really hope those kids get
therapy, so that they don’t go out and do this ever again.”
was “happy because after a year and a half, my son can finally sleep,” she
Shin’s nightmare began on November 18, 2009, when he was arrested
in Karmiel while waiting outside the home of his girlfriend for her to return. A neighbor who became suspicious of his presence contacted
A subsequent investigation by the Justice Ministry’s Police
Investigations Department concluded with the prosecution of three policemen on
charges of hitting Shin while he was in their custody. Their trial is under
After Shin’s arrest and an interrogation session, the Acre
Magistrate’s Court extended his custody by four days and sent him to spend the
weekend at the Kishon Detention Center.
“Kishon is a place with
experiences and characters you never want to come across,” Amir Melzer, an
attorney representing the family, said.
“Three inmates decided to perform
a ceremony to show Shin who was in charge. They beat him... pierced his
ear, and raped him,” the attorney said.
On Sunday, November 22, 2009,
Melzer was hired by the family to represent their son, and met Shin for the
first time in the Krayot Magistrate’s Court in Kiryat Bialik.
and hands were cuffed. He’d bitten his nails clear off. He told me in a broken
voice that he had been kept in a small cell in a vehicle for six to seven hours
before court. I could see something terrible had happened,” the attorney
“His ear was swollen and had fluid dripping from it. I asked him,
‘What happened?’ He broke down and told me everything. I shook when I heard it,”
“The judge almost cried when she saw his condition,” he
In their verdict on Monday, the head of the three-judge panel,
Yosef Elron, said experts called in by the prosecution presented a convincing
account of the abuse Shin had endured, and that his injuries, documented by a
doctor, constituted external evidence that backed up his account.
was unconvinced by claims made by experts brought in by the defense to cast
doubt on Shin’s account. The judge also said that doctors and a social worker
who examined Shin found him to be “suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder
that was highly likely to have been been caused by sexual assault.”
the assault, Shin was taken to the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa to receive
preventative medicine against HIV.
The “defendants all took a direct and
active part in the sodomy and assault,” the court said.