Jaffa flea market.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen)
The Tel Aviv District Attorney’s Office on Sunday filed an indictment against
two Jaffa flea market shop owners for the alleged rape of a 25-year-old tourist
from the US last week.
The woman was allegedly raped and sexually
assaulted in the middle of the afternoon at a store in the Jaffa flea market by
A.S., 39, a resident of Ra’anana, and S.R., 44, a resident of Holon. The names
of the victim and the two defendants are currently under a gag order.
prosecution said it is seeking to lift the gag order on the identities of the
defendants in the near future.
According to the indictment, the woman
came to the flea market on Monday afternoon – when it is typically full of
visitors – and entered a store. She chose a ring, the indictment said, and gave
A.S. NIS 200 to pay for the ring. A.S. allegedly refused to give her change and
suggested she buy other jewelry items. Next, noted the indictment, the owner
brought her into a corner of the store and assaulted her, while threatening her.
A.S. then allegedly told the tourist he was leaving briefly, and that if she
tried to flee it would be “suicide” for her.
The indictment alleged that
she was too fearful to leave and waited until he returned and raped and sexually
assaulted her further.
Next, A.S. allegedly brought her against her will
to S.R.’s store. S.R. offered her clothes, which she refused, and he then
sexually assaulted her, the indictment said.
The two defendants, who were
both arrested on Wednesday, had their remands extended by four days on Thursday
by the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court.
The Ra’anana man is reportedly a
religious father of four.
The attorney for the first defendant said that
the act was consensual, and that he told him that after the alleged assault, the
woman kissed him on the cheek and thanked him.
The attorney also asked
why, if it was a sexual assault, did she not cry out for help, while being taken
to the second store, which required walking past six other stores on a street
full of shoppers.
In court on Thursday, police said the woman issued a
police complaint the day after the sexual assault. She had spoken to relatives
who live in Israel, who advised her on how to issue a complaint, they
The prosecution filed a request to remand the defendants to police
custody until the end of the proceedings. It also filed a special request to
take the testimony of the American tourist earlier than usual and on an emergent
basis, so that she can return to the US, since she is only still in Israel to
move the case forward.Ben Hartman contributed to this story.