(photo credit: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich)
The Tel Aviv District Court on Wednesday sentenced Sudanese citizen Barahna Atkalata to 19 years in prison for raping, assaulting, threatening and stealing from a disabled woman in south Tel Aviv.
The more serious of two attacks included rape, while an earlier one involved assault.
In the first incident, Atkalata broke into A.A.’s home on July 11, 2013, and threatened to kill her if she did not allow him to rape her.
A.A., as the 48-year-old victim is referred to under a gag order, is partially disabled, requiring crutches.
Atkalata threatened her with a knife at close range, eventually dragging her into her bedroom where he raped her and otherwise sexually assaulted her. He then stole money from A.A. and then left the premises.
In the earlier assault, on March 24, 2013, Atkalata came upon A.A. waiting on the street near her home.
He tried to engage A.A. in conversation and made crude sexual references to her.
A.A. eventually tried to flee, but Atkalata chased her while holding a plank.
Atkalata’s lawyer had tried to argue for a lesser sentence of around seven years, noting that he had no prior record, that he was married with a small daughter and that he was likely to be deported upon his release, such that keeping him in jail longer served no deterrent purpose.
The court rejected his entreaties, saying that Atkalata had raped A.A. “with cruelty and brutality” rising to the level of “complete sadism, without any empathy, compassion or human feeling.”
The court added that its decision to give him close to the maximum possible sentence of 22 years in prison was also based on his raping a disabled woman.