Eilat gang-rape: 11 suspects indicted, four for rape, seven for assisting

Police revealed the entire story of how the brutal act came about.

Demonstrators gather in Tel Aviv on Sunday in support of a 16-year-old victim of a gang rape in Eilat. August 2020  (photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)
Demonstrators gather in Tel Aviv on Sunday in support of a 16-year-old victim of a gang rape in Eilat. August 2020
(photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)
The Southern District Attorney’s Office filed 11 indictments on Wednesday with the Beersheba District Court in the Eilat rape case that has shaken the country.
Two of the men accused of rape were named for the first time as 27-year-old Ilizir Meirov and 28-year-old Isi Rafilov from Hadera.
The names of two 17-year-old minor twin brothers from a southern community who are also accused of rape remain under gag order.
Another defendant who was named is Osher Salma, 19, from Noga, who was indicted for more minor offenses related to the gang-rape incident, including indecent assault and failure to prevent a felony.
Three other unnamed minors were indicted for aiding and abetting the rape under aggravated circumstances, with one of them charged for failure to prevent a felony.
Two other minors were charged with indecent assault, and another was charged with soliciting an indecent assault.
Meirov and Rafilov have criminal records, including serving time in jail.
The state prosecution sought to keep them and five of the minors in detention until the end of the trial, while agreeing to release the other defendants but imposing limitations on their movement and activities.
Police revealed the entire story of how the brutal acts came about.
The victim was with her friend at the Red Sea Hotel’s pool. They had been drinking, and she became severely inebriated and didn’t feel well. One of the older men approached her and attempted to make advances, but she rejected him outright, telling him that he is too old for her. A few of the 17-year-olds were in the pool with them, and she knew some of them personally.
Shortly thereafter, the victim went up to the hotel room of a friend to cool herself down, since she was not staying in the hotel herself. Upon arriving in the area of the hotel rooms, one of the older men met her there, pretending to be a medical professional, and offered her first aid. He told the victim’s friend to go to the nearest store and get snacks to help her friend, effectively sending her away. That is when he led her into a different hotel room.
According to the indictment, the defendants had not registered or paid for the hotel room, but illegally appropriated it for their crime.
Several males then entered the room to rape and sexually assault the victim. Besides the two men in their 20s and one 19-year-old, the other defendants were all 17.
Their entering and exiting the hotel room was caught on the security tapes that were later acquired by police from the hotel. Some of the attackers could be seen texting one another and inviting each other up.
The following day, a few of the attackers asked the victim if she wanted to meet with them again. She did not remember being with them the previous night. They tried to remind her, even telling her that footage existed of the event. That is when the victim understood that she had been raped.
“There was no way she could give consent,” Maya Azrad, the senior youth investigator in the case, told Army Radio.
Previously, a lower magistrate’s court had been ready to release some defendants to house arrest or with other restrictions, but the police successfully appealed some of these decisions to the district court, which reinstated the detention for some of the defendants pending the indictment.
Meanwhile, the victim continues to be in a difficult mental state and is being accompanied by a youth investigator. “She is usually at home because she is embarrassed,” Azrad said to Army Radio. “We tried to protect her name, but her name was passed on... She is being addressed personally.”