Policeman indicted for raping three 'vulnerable' women he was sent to help

Beersheba patrolman Aviya Stemaker was charged with raping three women in separate incidents during his duties, one in his patrol car and the others at their homes.

Police car at night (photo credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
Police car at night

When three vulnerable women needed Beersheba police aid earlier this year and late last year, they were instead raped by the police officer sent to help them, according to an indictment filed by the Police Internal Investigations Unit on Monday.

Beersheba patrolman Aviya Stemaker was charged with raping three women in separate incidents during his duties, one in his patrol car and the others at their homes. The officer was also charged with obstruction of justice for creating a false identity to cover his tracks. He would reportedly send his partners away to complete other tasks and mislead dispatchers to facilitate his crimes.

Stemaker was arrested on August 13 as the investigations developed.

How did a police officer rape the women who called him for help?

The first alleged rape by Stemaker was against a woman with mental difficulties who had only just recently moved to the city. In October 2022, the victim called the police crying and distressed about being raped. She was brought to the police station to file the complaint, but when Stemaker brought her back to her apartment, he reportedly first dropped off his partner at a hospital to assist with an incident. When police dispatchers gave him new orders, the patrolman is said to have claimed he was escorting the woman to her guardian.

According to the indictment, Stemaker brought the woman to her apartment, where he insisted he needed to collect DNA evidence. Trusting him, he then allegedly violated her with her own apartment keys, causing her pain. When she demanded she be taken to her guardian, Stemaker is said to have raped her. He then brought the woman to her guardian. Her reports about her rape by the officer were complicated by the fact that he had introduced himself under the persona "David."

 A police car at night. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)
A police car at night. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)

In May, Stemaker was sent along with a trainee policeman to collect a drunken woman who claimed that her ex-partner was at her apartment. The woman had filed many police complaints against the ex-partner, and the suspect gave her his personal cell phone number to contact him instead of the normal hotline.

The trainee and Stemaker brought the woman to the station to file a complaint. They were ordered by headquarters to bring the woman to her sister's apartment, but the patrolman claimed that they couldn't. He reportedly sent the trainee to collect the woman's sister while they waited alone at her apartment.

Stemaker allegedly began to touch the woman's laundry once they were alone, and made suggestive comments. Sitting on the couch, he is accused of groping her, then raping her. When the victim attempted to clean herself off, he grabbed her and raped her a second time. Stemaker reportedly responded to her screams by saying he was having fun.

Later, Stemaker reportedly called his victim posing as his superior officer, named David. The woman complained that the officer that they sent had raped her, and as David, Stemaker assured her that he would investigate the incident and told her not to tell anyone else. When the woman suspected the man on the other end of the call was Stemaker, he insisted it wasn't.

The most recent incident occurred in July. A mother had contacted police about her 25-year-old daughter who had disappeared. Stemaker found the woman, and he introduced himself as single even though he was married. They maintained contact and began to develop a romantic relationship through text messaging, and while they met once, hadn't escalated to a physical relationship.

Later that month, the two met at a construction site and according to the indictment, Stemaker coerced the woman into the back of his police car. Once inside, they began to kiss – but then despite the woman's protests, the officer allegedly forced her to perform oral sex on him. Stemaker allegedly began to undress the woman, and though she said "no" three times, he had intercourse with her.

"The defendant chose his victims carefully and in a manner that intensifies the danger posed by him. All the victims were vulnerable and unsupported women who needed the help of the police," said the Police Internal Investigations Unit. "The defendant, who by virtue of his position, was aware of the weakness of these women, he chose to exploit this and make them his victims."