Rapist granted retrial

Arnoldo Lazarofsky was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison.

For the third time in recent weeks, the Supreme Court agreed to hold a retrial, this time for a man who was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison for rape. The man, Arnoldo Lazarofsky, has already completed his jail sentence. He was paroled for good behavior after being imprisoned for four years. Lazarofsky was convicted of repeatedly raping a boy for two years, when the boy was 11 to 13 years old. He worked as a cleaner in a country club where the boy and his family were members. The boy also accused another country club cleaner, Gregory Schneider, of raping him when he was 14 and 15 years old. The boy did not tell anyone about these incidents until after he was drafted. The doctors suspected that he was making up stories to avoid combat service and referred him to an army mental health officer. During the weekend before his appointment with the officer, he told his parents for the first time that he had been raped by two men. That Sunday morning, they went to the police to complain. The district court that tried Lazarofsky convicted him, and the Supreme Court rejected Lazarofsky's appeal. Meanwhile, the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court tried Schneider and convicted him as well. However, in a two-to-one ruling, the district court accepted Schneider's appeal and acquitted him. Lazarofsky asked for a new trial on the basis of Schneider's acquittal and the fact that two courts, dealing with almost identical cases based on the testimony of the same witness (the boy), had come up with contradictory conclusions. Regarding the Supreme Court's Wednesday decision, Justice Miriam Naor wrote, "I have come to the conclusion that there is substantial cause for concern that there has been a miscarriage of justice in this matter." Naor added that the most important piece of evidence in the case was the timing of a conversation the boy had with a girlfriend. This conversation, which he claimed had taken place long before his conscription, was the only external supporting evidence that the boy had indeed been raped. But Naor found that there was reason to believe it might have been just before, or even just after, his conscription, when he knew he had been assigned to the Givati Brigade. Thus, there was reason to suspect that the boy had concocted the entire story and even fabricated "supporting evidence" in order to get out of the combat unit.