Remand extended for teenage gang rape suspects

Tel Aviv Juvenile Court extends remand for five suspects arrested for gang rape of 12-year-old girl.

Zion Square beating suspect in J'lem District Court 370 (photo credit: Melanie Lidman)
Zion Square beating suspect in J'lem District Court 370
(photo credit: Melanie Lidman)
The Tel Aviv Juvenile Court extended by 48 hours the remand of five suspects arrested in a gang rape case, involving a 12-year-old girl police say was sexually assaulted by a group of her peers, on Monday.
Altogether 16 suspects have been questioned since last Friday and of those, 12 have been arrested. All of them are 13 and 14 years old police say.
Attorney Uri Keinan, who is representing one of the suspects, said that he knows police still have to finish investigating but that his client has denied all allegations against him.
He also said that at the moment they are calling on the court to release them from custody, saying that jailing for people as young as 13 and 14 is far more difficult than for adults.
As Keinan spoke, relatives of four of the suspects walked out of the courthouse in tears, appearing to be highly upset and refusing to speak to the press.
Of the 16 suspects, three have been released altogether, while five remain in custody and the rest released on house arrest.
Tel Aviv District Police said Monday “this is the fourth day of the investigation and the more in depth it gets and the more testimony that is received it becomes clear that this is a severe case.”
They added that because of the young age of the defendants the case is being handled with the utmost sensitivity and in full coordination with social services.
The case involves allegations that, on a number of occasions, a 12 year old girl was raped by a group of boys at her school and elsewhere.
The acts were reportedly video- taped by the suspects, and the investigation was launched last week after police received one of the videos.
Police said the crimes involved constitute rape, but that the girl was not dragged anywhere by force.