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Five teens were charged in Tel Aviv's District Court yesterday with sodomy and extortion of a female classmate during a six-month period in 2008.

The defendants, aged 16 and 17, were charged with forcing their classmate to have sexual relations with them under threat of ruining her reputation and spreading compromising photos of her on the Internet if she did not do as they demanded.

About two years ago, when the victim was 15 years old, one of the defendants approached her and demanded sexual intercourse with her.

When she refused, he threatened to "beat her to a pulp," she later told the police, and demanded oral sex. Fearing he would carry out his threats, the charge sheet says, she did as he ordered.

The defendant then allegedly told his friends, who joined the abuse and threatened to spread rumors of what she did unless she had sex with them.

For the next six months, on several occasions, the five teens - four from Tel Aviv and one from Ashdod - summoned the girl to parks, basements and once even to her own home, where they raped her under threats of ruining her reputation.

Fearing her parents and friends would find out, she kept quiet and did not tell anyone.

About two weeks ago, the police received a tip about the affair and called the girl in for an interview. She confirmed the suspicions and gave them details of the ongoing abuse to which she had been subjected.

She said the boys used to photograph the rapes on mobile telephones as they laughed. Every time they wanted to bring in another friend, they threatened to beat her and post material about her on the Internet unless she did as they ordered.

Police have also linked two of the defendants to a break-in at the girl's home while the abuse was going on. The abuse finally stopped only when the girl's family, for unrelated reasons, moved away.

The five were released to house arrest yesterday.