49-year-old Jerusalem man suspected of molesting teenage neighbor

A 49-year-old Jerusalem resident was under arrest Thursday for allegedly repeatedly sexually assaulting a teenage girl over the last couple years since she was 15 years' old, police said. The suspect, Shimon Barda, who worked as a bus driver for pupils, allegedly lured the girl, who was his neighbor, into his house with cash and gifts and would then sexually molest her, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said. The suspect asserted that the relations between him and the teen were not coerced, and that he did not know how young she was, his lawyer said at a remand hearing. He was remanded in custody by a Jerusalem court on Thursday for five days. The court rejected a request by the defendant's lawyer to bar the publication of the suspect's name, citing public interest, and the fact that police suspect that the alleged abuser may have molested other teens as well