Israeli modeling agent accused of sexual assault detained in Amsterdam

Avital was arrested in the Dutch capital on Friday in a joint operation by Israeli and Dutch police after fleeing Israel 10 months ago.

 Israeli modeling agent Shai Avital (C) poses for a picture with Israeli models during an event on a rooftop in Tel Aviv, on September 17, 2017 (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)
Israeli modeling agent Shai Avital (C) poses for a picture with Israeli models during an event on a rooftop in Tel Aviv, on September 17, 2017
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)

An Amsterdam court extended on Monday the arrest of Israeli modeling agent Shai Avital, the man accused of sexually assaulting models represented by him, for a further two weeks.

Avital was arrested in the Dutch capital on Friday in a joint operation by Israeli and Dutch police after fleeing the country 10 months ago following accusations of rape and sexual assaults made by his former models.

Avital is now set for extradition to Israel.

Extradition request reveals rape investigations

An extradition request filed by Israel's State Attorney's Office revealed Avital is suspected of sexual assault and rape allegations. Until this request, it was believed police were only investigating the modeling agent for the sexual assault claims.

Israel Police have also clarified that they are not involved in any way in the extradition process from the Netherlands, stressing that the entire extradition is carried out by the Dutch police.

An Israel Police source stated that if Avital chooses to cooperate, he will land in Israel in the next 40 days. However, if he chooses to appeal the Amsterdam court's decision, he could delay the extradition process by a number of months.

 Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai at a Public Security Committee meeting, July 5, 2022. (credit: NOAM MOSCOWITZ/KNESSET SPOKESMAN'S OFFICE) Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai at a Public Security Committee meeting, July 5, 2022. (credit: NOAM MOSCOWITZ/KNESSET SPOKESMAN'S OFFICE)

Sexual assault, rape allegations made against Shai Avital

He has been under investigation by Israel Police for over a year since three formal complaints were filed by his former models and accusations of rape were made public on the Israeli investigative TV show Hazinor.

In total, 26 women have filed complaints of sexual harassment against the modeling agent.