All minors involved in Eilat gang-rape released to house arrest

Four suspects – two adults and two minors – will apparently be charged with rape, and the rest of the charges will likely be due to the suspects' failure to prevent a crime.

Women's March protesters hold signs saying, "You are not alone" after a 16-year-old girl was gang-raped in Eilat. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)
Women's March protesters hold signs saying, "You are not alone" after a 16-year-old girl was gang-raped in Eilat.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)
All minors who will be charged in the gang-rape of a 16-year-old girl at Eilat’s Red Sea Hotel were released to house arrest on Sunday afternoon. One adult was also released to house arrest.
The court “does not understand the size of the affair,” the police said in response to the decision as the court claimed that the house arrest does not take away from the extremity of the crime.
Police had requested a delay of execution of the house arrest, stating, “They were involved directly in the rape, their place is in jail and not at home.” The Beersheba Regional Court will discuss the possible delay of execution on Monday.
Police presented the Ashkelon Magistrate Court on Sunday with its statement incriminating five of the minors involved in the gang-rape of the 16-year-old.
One of the three minors who had initially been released from prison under restrictive conditions was once more arrested on Sunday afternoon. He was transferred to the Lachish investigative team for interrogation.
A source close to the investigation said that only a handful of those arrested will actually be charged, according to Haaretz. According to the source, the two 27-year-olds and two of the minors will be charged with rape, while a few others will merely be charged with failure to prevent a crime.
This comes a few days after police announced that the investigative team of over 20 operatives from the Lachish Regional Police had managed to “decode” the affair and had contacted all suspects. A total of 17 suspects are 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.
Two of the adult suspects – the two main adult suspects – will be brought before the court on Tuesday to have their arrests extended for involvement in the violent affair.
Meanwhile, the victim’s mental state is dwindling by the day, according to her lawyer in an interview with N12. “She is trying to digest and understand the meaning of the incident,” she said. “This girl went through a traumatic event, without any consent on her part. There is a lot on her shoulders.”
“The victim’s testimony was found to be credible and enforcing evidence has been found,” the police said on Thursday upon announcing the closing of the investigation.
One of the main suspects told members of the press Thursday that he did not participate in the rape, but rather that he had attempted to help the victim. “There will come a time when the truth will come out,” he said.
The suspect later admitted to documenting the brutal act, although he proceeded to deny participating in the sexual assault itself. His arrest was extended by six days, as was the arrest of two other suspects.
The victim, a 16-year-old girl, 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, that number had slowly decreased to 17, the police said.
Among those who were involved, police claim that some took part in the act while others filmed and documented it.
The police had previously arrested the manager of the hotel, Pnina Maman, under suspicion of disrupting the investigation proceedings and failing to prevent the crime. She at first had claimed that the hotel had not been involved and that it was a victim of shaming, but later broke down in court, saying that the case has triggered anxiety for her, as she had also been a victim of rape. She was released under restrictive circumstances.