Suspects in alleged gang rape to remain in custody

Court rules to delete appeal earlier decision to extend their remand; suspects to be held until Wednesday.

Rape victim (photo credit: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich)
Rape victim
(photo credit: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich)
The Jerusalem District Court ruled on Wednesday to delete an appeal by two suspects arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of gang raping an 18- year-old high school student after a graduation party in a private home close to Jerusalem.
Police arrested four men in total, and on Tuesday the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ruled to extend their remand until Thursday, while a police investigation continues. The two men in court today, one a security guard and the other a pool lifeguard, were both paid workers at the party, and were appealing against a magistrate’s court ruling to extend their remand.
All four deny the suspicions against them.
A court-imposed gag order preventing publication of the suspects’ names and photographs and all details of the ongoing police investigation remains in place, as is standard for cases involving sexual assault suspicions.
In Wednesday’s appeal hearing, the public defender representing one of the two suspects, attorney Nadav Gedaliahu, initially asked the court to release his client to full house arrest in his parents’ home.
Gedaliahu said that he estimated no charges would eventually be filed against his client.
Citing the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court decision on Tuesday to remand the four men in to custody, Gedaliahu said that the two suspects appealing had undertaken paid employment at the party at which “hundreds of teenagers and adults were present.”
“There is no evidence linking them to the rape,” he said.
Attorney Zecharia Schenkolewski, representing the second suspect, also said there was no evidence to establish reasonable grounds for suspicion against his client, and added that the fact his client was present at the villa did not constitute reasonable suspicion.
A police representative, however, presented the court with a summary of the police investigation and what he said was evidence attributed to each of the suspects.
At the end of the hearing, the suspects’ lawyers said they agreed to delete the appeal.
Judge Miriam Mizrahi also ruled that a gag order on the case would remain in place.