Police: Nazareth acid attack victim was also raped

16-year-old victim tells police that two men had subjected her to months of abuse before the attack last month.

Nazereth 521 (photo credit: Makbula Nassar )
Nazereth 521
(photo credit: Makbula Nassar )
A Nazareth teen whose eyes and face were burned in an acid attack last month, was also the victim of sexual and physical abuse by the two main suspects for several months, police reported on Wednesday.
The new development came to light on Tuesday, after the 16-year-old victim told police that the two men had subjected her to months of abuse before the attack last month. The victim had only awoken from her anesthesia last week.
On Wednesday, the two suspects will be brought for their third remand extension, and in the coming days police expect they will be indicted for charges that now include rape and aggravated sexual assault of a minor in addition to the other charges already in the case.
One of the suspects is the girl’s middle-aged neighbor, who had repeatedly hounded her with wedding proposals, and stalked her around Nazareth for well over a year, before he carried out his threat to hurt her for rejecting his advances. The man has denied the allegations against him.
At Rambam Medical Center in Haifa last month, the girl’s mother said the man’s harassment of her daughter had become worse over the past month or so, and that every day he would follow her around and demand she marry him.
The mother said that on the night of the attack, she heard her daughter screaming and ran into her room as she was splashing water in her face to clear the acid. The daughter was yelling, “he did it, he burned me.”
Prof. Eitan Blumenthal, head of the ophthalmology department at Rambam, said on Wednesday that doctors hope to be able to repair some of the girl’s vision in one of her eyes, but that the other eye is probably lost for good.
Blumenthal estimated that the girl will remain hospitalized for at least another two weeks, and said of the incident, “This is one of the most difficult cases we’ve dealt with in the department, not only because of the injuries but also the tragic circumstances in which they took place.”
Northern District head Asst.-Ch. Roni Atia, who set up a task force to investigate the attack, said on Wednesday “this is a very grave incident involving physical and emotional injury to a young girl with her whole life ahead of her. Criminals like this deserve to be behind bars for a very long time.”