Detention of student suspected of rape extended until Sunday

The 15-year-old boy moved to his current school after he was suspected of raping another student at his previous school.

A CLASSROOM (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)

The detention of a 15-year-old boy from Tel Aviv who attacked fellow students has been extended by 3 days by the Tel Aviv Juvenile Court. The boy was arrested on Thursday morning on suspicion of committing rape and indecent acts against another student in the school. A gag order has been implemented around further details of the investigation, including the identity of the boy. His detention was extended until Sunday.

The boy moved to his current school after he was suspected of raping another student at his previous school and complaints from fellow students were made against him. Ynet reported that students at the school where the boy studied have said that since the incident, rumors have been circulating about many more cases, "and not all of them happened in this school." According to one student, "there were girls who left school crying. It's impossible to know how much damage was done."

H., one of the students' parents at the school, was furious at the "oversight" of the school that he said led to such a dire situation. "It's a dark day, a very difficult time," H. said in an interview with 103FM. "I don't think that there is a single parent in the State of Israel for whom this isn't their worst nightmare. It is a very difficult feeling surrounding a very serious event."

"I was exposed to the case following a phone call from the media. They asked me if I was aware of what was happening at the school. The principal did not contact me and I can understand why," said H.

"It's not possible that this boy was able to move up through the school system without someone flagging his behavior," H. stated. "You're talking about a ticking bomb here. You had a bomb and moved it somewhere else - of course, something like this would happen."

  (credit: Courtesy of those photographed) (credit: Courtesy of those photographed)

According to Israeli media, the Tel Aviv municipality clarified yesterday that "cases of serious sexual assault were reported in two high schools in the city. School principals acted as required in such cases. Beyond that, we can not give further detail. The cases are under police investigation."

However, H. wanted to emphasize that the case did not occur within the walls of the school, explaining: "There is a difference between what happens inside the school grounds and what happens on a daily basis. You can not control all the children 24/7, you can only guide them and help them. "The school is not just a place to teach children for matriculation and grades, it is a place where children go through transitions, and there was a problem here."

H. further added that his daughter is still attending school despite the incident. "I trust the professional staff," he said. "We, as parents, are still learning about the situation. I want to pray that this is the last time this will happen but unfortunately, I still know that these things happen. The atmosphere is very difficult."

Haim Ohana, the boy's defense attorney, told Walla: "What can be said is that the situation is currently under investigation and my client is giving his version of events. I can only express that unfortunately everything is backward - first, there is an 'investigation' on social media, on Facebook and Instagram, then there is an 'investigation' through conversations in cafes and living rooms, and only then are you freed up for the negligible and marginal thing called police investigation where the truth is revealed. I need not mention the irreversible damage done to my client throughout this process."

"I would expect there to be some sort of protocol for such situations, even something in the law - and this law would serve to protect potential suspects from abusive posts on all social networks before the police investigation begins, and before any real findings are made by competent investigators," Ohana added. "What's happening here is difficult - a person faces further interrogation after the general public has already interrogated him, judged him, expressed its opinion, defined him, and destroyed his character. And then you have to deal with 'Oh, sorry, one more thing, we're going to interrogate you for a police investigation.' Now we need to let the interrogation proceed and see what the police decide."

"This is a normal family, people who are the salt of the earth, an exemplary family, and this thing has hit them like a thunderstorm on a clear day. Now they have to deal with all of these suspicions. They believe in a fair police investigation - unlike social networks. Every parent who could suddenly find themselves in such a situation will have to deal with an investigation against his son or daughter on such sensitive and serious issues," he said.