Israeli party hotspot owner arrested on suspicion of rape

He had sexually assaulted the complainant in his office at the Forum after she had come to enjoy a night out with a friend.

Night club silhouette. (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Night club silhouette.
(photo credit: PIXABAY)

Yossi Schwartz, owner of popular party spot the Forum in Beersheba, has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting women who attended his southern club.

A 25-year-old woman came forward to the police Friday morning, claiming that she had been raped by Schwartz the previous night at his nightclub.

He had sexually assaulted the complainant in his office at the Forum after she had come to enjoy a night out with a friend. According to Mako TV, she had told the police that the club was full, but she pulled a few strings to get Schwartz to let her and her friend in nevertheless.

At a certain point in the night, he offered to show her his office, where they drank together, Mako reports. He then allegedly began taking her clothes off by force and turning her around. She said she screamed and begged and fought but that nobody could hear due to the noise at the club.

The complainant told police, according to the Mako report, that he ignored her cries and raped her until he reached climax, after which he got dressed and went back out to the party “as though nothing had happened.”

Overhead view of Beersheba (credit: Wikimedia Commons)Overhead view of Beersheba (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

She then walked out of the club, where she ran into street officers on patrol. She told them that she was raped, the report alleges, and they told her to file a formal complaint. At some point, Schwartz went after her to hear what she was telling them. She slapped him in front of the officers.

Despite the complaint having been filed a mere few hours later, rather than making the arrest immediately, officers decided to transfer the case to the Southern Police District Fraud Unit.

Schwartz's background

A high-ranking police officer told Mako that it was well-known for years that Schwartz had connections in the Beersheba police department.

He was arrested at Ben-Gurion Airport on Monday after returning from the Champions League final in France.

The Beersheba Magistrate’s Court only approved the publication of his arrest on Wednesday, and his arrest was extended until Monday.

The police faced harsh criticism for the ongoing gag order on the release of Schwartz’s name. Both Channel 13 and Ynet asked the court for permission to publish his name, but Israel Police objected.

“Trials are not conducted in the media,” Avi Chimi and Noam Alligon, the defendant’s lawyers, said following the scandal. “The police will investigate, that is their job. And we, for our part, will work to prove the full innocence of our client.”

Indeed, Schwartz is claiming that the sexual relations he had with the complainant were consensual.