Yosef Ohayon is the 40-year-old Jerusalem resident arrested for suspected sexual offenses against female minors in a pre-military (mechina) program under his supervision. His name was released for publication on Sunday night.
Ohayon, the head of the program, would contact the girls and take advantage of his close relationship with them, as well as his fake extensive military background – which is how he presented himself to them – to get increasingly closer to and exploit them. The age range of the girls was 14-18, KAN said.
He was brought before the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Sunday, which approved the Police request to extend his arrest by seven days. The investigation, which was conducted undercover by the Jerusalem District Police, is ongoing.
The legal violations attributed to him are conspiracy to commit a crime and committing sexual intercourse with two female minors while taking advantage of a relationship of dependence, among others, according to Ynet.
"There were a lot of rumors about him, but I never noticed anything out of the ordinary," another of Ohayon's former students, who was under his auspices, told Ynet.
"I can understand how something like this could've happened: The students who looked up to him really admired him. We felt like we could tell him anything," she said.
Another also said that she didn't experience anything out of the ordinary with Ohayon, but that the admiration exhibited towards him by the students was extreme and threw her off.
"People always told me I was in a cult, in a bad place. I only understood that later on," she told Ynet.
The Arayot Yehuda ("Lions of Judah") pre-military program is a Non Profit Organization (NPO) that has collaborated with many widely known educational institutions in the Jerusalem area, according to Israeli media. The program, geared towards high schoolers, combines an educational and physical training program, according to its website.
Ohayon is married and a father of four, according to its website.
Criminal defense attorney Noga Weisel, who is representing Ohayon and specializes in the representation of suspects indicted of sexual violations, said: "We are talking here about a man who built with his own hands a wonderful organization whose successes speak for themselves.
"My client aided thousands of youth at risk and enabled them a better future. I am only sorry that the court permitted the release of his name," Israeli media reported him as saying.
Ohayon has denied all allegations made against him.
One of his former students told Ynet yesterday that she wasn't surprised by the publication: "He was very open and had no problem talking about sex."