Jaffa shop owners indicted for shocking alleged rape of US tourist

25 year old American girl allegedly raped in store in market in the middle of the day.

June 30, 2013 18:05
2 minute read.
A woman shops at the flea market in Jaffa, just south of Tel Aviv June 3, 2009.

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.

The 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 added.

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.

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