School Janitor Arrested for Allegedly Abusing Student

37-year-old janitor accused of sexually abusing a student for three years; alleged victim claims the abuse was preceded by threats.

Police have arrested a 37-year-old man on charges of sexual abuse against a minor. The suspect was formerly employed as a janitor at the alleged victim's school.

According to authorities, the abuse began three years ago, when the minor was 14-years-old.

Bomb shelter in Tel Aviv July 30, 2009 Daniel Tchetchik
Daniel Tchetchik

The suspect was dismissed from his position at the school about two years ago, following allegations of indecent conduct toward another student.

According to Haifa police commander Ahuva Tomer the suspect initially approached the victim and claimed that he had in his possession a nude photo of the student, and that he would publicly distribute the photo if the minor refused to have sex with him. Fearing that he had no choice, the minor agreed and was allegedly sexually assaulted by the janitor in the school's bomb shelter.

The abuse is said to have occurred dozens of times, both at the school and at other locations.

Two weeks ago, the suspect apparently asked to meet the minor and again threatened him, at which time the minor confided in a friend about what was happening. The friend told the alleged victim's parents about the abuse, and they informed the authorities.

The suspect has denied the charges. Authorities on Wednesday sought to extend his remand at the Haifa Magistrate's Court.

On Monday, police arrested a 37-year-old male resident of Elyakhin on charges that he sexually assaulted an 8-year-old girl. It is suspected that the man grabbed the child by force and drove her to a cemetery, where he removed her clothing and tried to rape her.