10 men arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing Tel Aviv teen
Suspects include a leading personality in the Internet industry and a well-known sports coach.
Israel Police arrested at least ten people on suspicion that they met a Tel Aviv teenager on the Internet and sexually abused him for nearly two years.
Police removed a gag order from the case on Wednesday, and revealed that the suspects include a leading personality in the Internet industry and a well-known sports coach.
Police said that the youth, now aged 15, apparently posted a page on a gay dating Web site called Atraf, claiming to be 18 and looking to meet men, when he was only 13.
According to police, numerous people replied to the youth's posting, including nine of the men in custody and others who have yet to be arrested in the case. Police suspect that some of those arrested raped the teen, while others sexually abused him.
Police also said that, in some cases, the men paid the youth - at times minuscule amounts - for sexual favors. In one case, one of the men installed a computer application for the youth in exchange for sex.
The turning point in the case came when tensions arose between several of the men who threatened one another, police said.
The case came to light last week after letters were sent to the youth's home threatening to expose him to friends and family. The teen's cousin discovered the letters and brought them to police.
Police called the teen in for questioning, and he provided names. Investigators then impersonated teens on the Web site in an effort to contact the suspects. Ten of the men were arrested on Sunday.
Police also arrested a prominent lawyer during their investigation, after they allegedly found a 17-and-a-half-year-old in his apartment in possession of the drug "Hagigat," a popular amphetamine-like stimulant he said the lawyer gave him.