By BEN HARTMAN, JPOST.COM STAFFPublished: DECEMBER 3, 2009 11:34Advertisement
DNA from semen belonging to a former bodyguard to the IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi was found on the body of a woman who said she was raped next to the Tel Aviv port last Saturday, police revealed on Thursday.
Police said they are trying to match DNA from the semen sample to DNA taken from victims of a number of other unsolved rapes in the Tel Aviv area, because of their apparent similarities to the incident last week at the port.
In the wake of the positive DNA match, an indictment is expected to be presented against the suspect by next week. The suspect, "Captain A" remains in police custody following an extension of his remand on Tuesday, in which police said he remains a danger to society and should remain in jail.
The DNA match on the suspect's semen means the indictment could include charges of rape and indecent acts, as opposed to attempted rape, as was originally expected, though a Tel Aviv police spokesperson said that the case was still being investigated as an attempted rape.
Captain A's lawyer Benny Nahary told The Jerusalem Post Thursday that he has not seen the DNA test yet and that Thursday's revelations have had no effect whatsoever on his client's defense. Nahary also denied that a positive DNA test would lead him to seek a plea bargain, saying "we are far, far away from that, an indictment hasn't even been issued yet."
During a confrontation police arranged between the complainant and Captain A on Monday, the complainant identified the suspect as the rapist, and reportedly screamed "you dragged me, you raped me and disappeared into the Yarkon [river]."
The suspect reportedly denied the complainant's claims, calling her a liar.
The complainant had failed to identify the suspect in a police photo lineup held on Monday, a fact that her lawyer said does not affect the evidence central to the case against the suspect. Police reportedly have at least one witness who saw the suspect attack the complainant in a parking lot next to Tel Aviv's port and Judge Avihai Doron said Tuesday evidence in the case against Captain A is solid.
The attack occurred last Saturday, when the victim was walking through a parking lot outside the popular entertainment district in Tel Aviv and noticed a man following her. When she reached her car, the man pulled her out of the vehicle and dragged her into some bushes next to the Yarkon River, where he sexually assaulted her.
The woman screamed for help and bystanders came to the scene, causing the man to flee. Police found Captain A shortly thereafter hiding in the bushes next to the Yarkon with scratches on his face. The suspect was intoxicated and had just come from his bachelor party at a nearby strip club, and told police he went to the river to urinate and fell into the water.
His lawyer has stated that his injuries were sustained during his arrest by police and were not a result of struggling with the complainant.
A police statement submitted to the Tel Aviv magistrate's court said that the suspect is believed to have sexually assaulted and struck the woman, causing her bodily harm.
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