Man held for abusing partner

A 31-year-old Beit Shemesh man has been arrested for allegedly repeatedly beating and raping his Ukrainian-born partner who had come to Israel to work as a prostitute over the last several years, police said Tuesday. Michael Katzman was apprehended on Monday night at his Beit Shemesh home after the woman he was living with phoned police. The non-Jewish victim, who came to Israel illegally and was living in the country without proper permits, mothered three children with the suspect. The woman, who met her partner while working in prostitution, first reported the abuse to two neighbors, who testified that they saw the abuse on her body, a police representative told a Jerusalem court during a Monday remand hearing. The couple's six-year-old boy also testified to police that he saw his mother being abused. The woman told police investigators that she had been afraid to turn to the authorities, since she did not have proper documents and because of death threats from her partner. The suspect confessed to the physical - but not sexual - abuse, police said. He was remanded by the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Tuesday for four days.