Indictments in Eilat gang-rape case likely to be filed Wednesday

“They were involved directly in the rape,” a police representative said. “Their place is in jail and not at home.”

Womens' rights activists protest against violence against women at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, August 30, 2020 (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)
Womens' rights activists protest against violence against women at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, August 30, 2020
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)
After a court hearing on Monday in the gang-rape case of a 16-year-old girl in Eilat's Red Sea Hotel three of the minors who were confined to house arrest were transferred to police custody.
Four people are expected to be charged with rape, while the rest of the suspects are expected to be charged with being accomplices to rape, according media reports. An indictment is expected to be filed on Wednesday.
Only a few of those arrested will be charged, according to a person familiar with the matter, Haaretz reported.
Men walked in and out of the room in the Red Sea Hotel during the gang rape, sending text messages to their friends and telling them to join them, a police representative told the court Monday morning.
The investigation will conclude in time to enable the prosecution to file indictments by Wednesday, the police told the court.
The initial decision to release the minors to house arrest was criticized, and police said the court “does not understand the gravity of the affair.” The court defended itself, saying the decision did not lessen the severity of the crime.
“They were involved directly in the rape,” a police representative said. “Their place is in jail and not at home.”
The police concluded interrogations of all suspects and said an evidential basis was formed that justifies indictments against the five main suspects.
An investigative team of more than 20 operatives from the Lachish Regional Police had managed to “decode” the affair and had contacted all suspects, the police announced last Thursday. Seventeen suspects were said to be involved, three of whom were released from police custody under restrictive conditions. Ten of the remaining suspects in custody were minors, and the other four were adults.
“The victim’s testimony was found to be credible, and incriminating evidence has been found,” the police said Thursday.
The victim was vacationing with a friend in Eilat and had become inebriated when she was gang-raped by a group of men. Although the original number of suspects was thought to have been 30, there were 17, the police said.
Among those who were involved, some took part in the act while others filmed and documented it, the police said.
The police arrested the manager of the hotel, Pnina Maman, under suspicion of disrupting the investigation’s proceedings and failing to prevent the crime. She had claimed the hotel had not been involved and that it was a victim of shaming.
She later broke down in court, saying the case has triggered anxiety for her, as she had also been a victim of rape. She was released under restrictive conditions