'My girl isn't home, but animals who raped her are'
House arrest expires for boys suspected of group raping 11-year-old girl in her building; victim is in mental health clinic.
By YAAKOV LAPPIN
An 11-year-old girl in Beersheba is in a mental health clinic, trying to recover from a group rape which occurred in her building, the girl’s father told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.“She’s not home tonight, but the animals who did this to her are,” the father, who requested anonymity, told the Post.Four boys, who were arrested by police and then released to house arrest by a judge – which has since expired – claim sexual acts took place with the girl’s consent.The incident occurred last month in Beersheba, when the girl came home from school and was surrounded by four boys, aged 12 and 13, in the lobby of her building.“It was an ambush. They waited for her,” the father said. The girl then began one of several failed attempts to escape the boys, running into the elevator, where she was grabbed and dragged into a stairwell, he added.According to police, three of the boys forced themselves on the girl, while a fourth looked on.Police say that the consent defense is irrelevant, since any sexual act in that age group is illegal.Advertisement“She was forced and threatened,” the father added. “It was a cruel group rape.The ordeal only ended after a neighbor who heard the commotion opened her door and chased the boys away. The girl could not bear to go home, though the neighbor told her that she must tell her parents.The girl first went to a friend’s house, who convinced her to go home and tell her parents everything.“We took her straight to the hospital, where she underwent a rape examination and evidence was taken. We met with a doctor and a social worker,” the father recounted.“After that, I removed the video tapes from the closed circuit video cameras we have in the building. It showed everything, how she was kidnapped in the elevators and how they trapped her,” he added.The family contacted police, and an investigation was launched. Two suspects were arrested in school within two days of the complaint, a Negev police spokeswoman said, while two more were arrested the following day.The Beersheba Youth Magistrate’s Court released three rape suspects to house arrest, and the fourth boy, suspected of watching but not participating, was released immediately.“We wanted to extend their custody but they were released to their homes and the house arrest was not renewed, since the investigation ended,” the spokeswoman said. “This is a very sensitive investigation.”The girl was interviewed by social services, the spokeswoman added, as is standard procedure in underage sexual assault cases.The case material is now resting with southern state prosecutors, who will decide whether to indict the three main suspects.“We discovered they are free to do this again to any girl in Israel or in Beersheba,” the father said. He said he was frustrated with the slow pace of the justice system, but hoped that it would eventually result in a prosecution.“I really hope the system won’t disappoint. If it does, no parent can feel safe,” he added.“It’s unfathomable that boys this young can do this,” he said. “I don’t know what they were exposed to that made them turn into animals. I hope we are the last case.”
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