Eyal Golan's father appears in court in underage girls sex crimes case

Superstar's dad and an employee in singer's production company remanded into custody for another four days.

Eyal Golan (photo credit: Hadad Eliran)
Eyal Golan
(photo credit: Hadad Eliran)
There is evidence naive teenage girls who wanted to “touch the glamour” surrounding singer Eyal Golan were exploited by his father and associates for sexual favors, a Tel Aviv judge said Thursday, before ordering the two suspects held for a further four days.
Golan’s father, 61-year-old Dani Biton, and Tzahi Asulin, an employee of the singer’s production company, were among five suspects including Golan, who were brought in for questioning on Wednesday.
With the allegations against the two men reportedly stronger than those against the other four suspects, they were kept in the custody of Tel Aviv police Wednesday night until the morning, when they were brought to court.
Golan and two other suspects were released to house arrest Wednesday night, after 15 hours of questioning at police headquarters in Tel Aviv.
At the moment it appears that Biton is accused of the gravest charges in the case, including that he gave at least one underage girl money and gifts to sleep with him, and that he also used access to his son as a lure.
Tel Aviv Investigative Branch Det.-Insp. Yoni Hajij said in court on Thursday that the investigation began when the first complaint was received from an underage girl on August 12 at the Glilot police station.
Hajij said that from the very beginning of the investigation both Biton and Asulin emerged as suspects, and that the most recent alleged illegal sexual acts occurred right up until the case broke in the press last week.
Biton’s lawyer, Sharon Keinan, said in court that his client told him that the night before his arrest, he received a text from one of the girls saying “I’m sorry, it’s all lies, the police pressured me to lie.”
Hajij said that the girls told police that they received money and gifts from the two suspects, but would not say what the value of the gifts were.
He added that police have some indications that over the past week, since the case became public knowledge, Biton tried to interfere with the investigation. This reportedly includes deleting videos and photos taken of some of the encounters, as well as text messages sent between the suspects and the alleged victims.
At one point during Thursday’s hearing, Asulin’s lawyer Benny Nahari said to Hajij that his client “said under questioning that there were two girls, one aged 19-20 and one aged 18,” to which Hajij responded “we’re not here because of an 18- or 19-year-old.”
In his closing statement, Judge Shmuel Melamed said there is reasonable basis to believe that the suspects carried out the said crimes, and that the police case indicates that the two suspects carried out and organized sex crimes on a different and more severe level than the other four, who were already released to house arrest.
“The crimes they are charged with are severe. It is worth noting that on a moral level, using the naivete of underage girls who want “to touch glamour” represents a serious blow to these same girls,” Melamed said.
Police said they still have dozens of investigative actions to carry out and Melamed ordered the suspects kept in custody for four days – less than the eight days police asked for – so they would not tamper with the investigation.
The other suspects in the case include not only Golan but also a Tel Aviv promoter and the manager of a national radio station.