13 youths indicted in gang-rape of 15-year-old girl

Brother of suspect claims sibling was subjected to peer pressure.

Thirteen youths were indicted Wednesday on suspicion of gang-raping a15-year-old girl over the course of three years, in a case that sentshock-waves across the country when it surfaced on Monday.
Thesuspects, 12 of whom are aged 17, and one aged 18, of north Tel Avivand Ramat Hasharon, are believed to have struck, sodomized and abusedthe victim, now aged 18, and recorded the abuse on their cell-phonevideo cameras.
The 13 were charged in the Tel Aviv District Court with rape, abuse, assault, extortion and making threats.
The youths told police that all the acts were “consensual.”
Policesaid they were also searching for other suspects in the case, and weretrying to track down other teenage girls who were allegedly attacked byseveral of the detainees.
Speaking at an event in on Tuesdaynight, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar said Israeli society had reacheda low point and that values had been neglected.
“When there isa career, there is no time to find out what’s happening with thechildren,” he said at a Ramat Gan scholarship ceremony. 
Oneof the suspect’s brothers, meanwhile, told Israel Radio that hissibling was subject to peer pressure. He claimed that his brother wouldstand aside and was shocked by what he saw.
Police launched theinvestigation last month after a concerned parent filed a complaintwith the youth section of the Tel Aviv Police Central Unit.
Theeldest suspect, who is the suspected ringleader, is thought to havemanipulated the troubled girl’s affection for him. Police suspect heroutinely took the girl to bomb shelters and public gardens, contactedthe other suspects and encouraged the abuse.
Other suspects described the girl as being extremely obedient to the main suspect, saying she was his “soldier.”
Police suspect that the teens would put out cigarettes on her andengage in other acts of violence when the girl resisted their attacks.
Thegirl did not wish to implicate the main suspect at the start of theinvestigation, a police source said, adding that she neverthelessconfirmed that the suspected acts took place.
Police have taken a critical view of the girl’s school and its failure to identify the ongoing abuse