‘Online Pedophile’ gets 12 years in prison

Avinoam Braverman convicted of statutory rape, sexual harassment and committing obscene acts in public.

Rape victim (photo credit: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich)
Rape victim
(photo credit: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich)
The Tel Aviv District Court sentenced Avinoam Braverman, 34, to 12 years in prison on Tuesday for a series of sex offenses. Braverman, who was convicted following a plea bargain in July 2010, was dubbed “the Online Pedophile” by the media, because of his mode of operation – harassing young girls in online chat rooms and luring them into having sex with him.
Braverman was convicted on four charges, each made up of multiple offenses. Among the offenses to which he plead guilty were: sodomy, statutory rape, attempted rape, committing obscene acts in public, indecent exposure, possession and distribution of obscene material and sexual harassment.
According to the verdict, between the years 2006-2010, Braverman used the Internet to frequent childrens' social networks and would approach girls – between the ages of eight and 14 – with sexually explicit offers and expose them to obscenities while posing as a younger man. In some of the cases, the verdict reads, Braverman would attempt to arrange secret meetings with the girls, inviting them to come to his home to have sex with him.
In two cases, Braverman succeeded in enticing the girls to meet with him and in both instances – one with an 11- year-old and one with a 14- year-old – he engaged in sexual acts with the girls.
In his risk assessment interviews, Braverman claimed that it was the girls who initiated the sexual contacts and that he was unable to fight off his attraction to young girls, even though he realized his actions were immoral and illegal.
The risk assessment presented to the court determined that Braverman, who was enrolled in post-graduate studies and served in an elite technological unit of the IDF, exhibited severe narcissistic and manipulative tendencies.
“The accused exhibits no emotional or intellectual sensitivities to his actions or their consequences and testified that he was surprised by the shock expressed by people to his actions,” read the assessment, concluding that he presented a high level of sexual danger.
An additional assessment by a defense expert witness, argued that Braverman posed a medium-high to high risk and that he was interested in undergoing treatment to cure him of his pedophiliac perversion.
It also stressed that Braverman had not used violence against the girls he came into contact with.
When speaking before the court, Braverman expressed sorrow for his actions and a desire to receive treatment and return to normal life one day.
“The courts are, almost routinely, exposed to indictments describing harsh and disturbing sexual offenses against minors. Unfortunately, this is a phenomena that is growing in Israeli society and it seems to be expanding from year to year,” Judge Sara Dotan wrote.
Alongside the 12-year prison sentence, Braverman was ordered by the court to pay NIS 60,000 and NIS 100,000 to his victims.