IDF officer Eyal Nahum
IDF officer Eyal Nahum, 25, is suspected of sexually harassing thousands of girls Photo by Motti Kimche
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An Israeli Defense Forces officer was charged yesterday with sexually harrassing thousands of underage girls by sending them sexually suggestive messages over the Internet, and with having sexual relations with four of the girls.

The indictment states that Eyal Nahum, 25, maintained online relationships with underage girls on the "Shox" chat site, posing as a 15 or 16-year-old over the course of four years. In some cases, he allegedly threatened girls that that he would post nude photos of them online if they didn't comply with his demands to turn on a camera and do as instructed.

His chats were allegedly heavily laden with sexual messages, asking some of the girls to turn on a webcam and instructing them to touch their bodies while he watched.

In two cases, Nahum is suspected of blackmailing 12-year-old girls, writing to them them: "If you don't want to see these images with your name and mobile phone number online then video chat with me."

The indictment further charges that the suspect had an ongoing physical relationship with four girls, all under 16, performing sexual acts on them with their consent. The indictment lists sexual offenses against 11 underage girls.

The Tel Aviv Prosecutor's Office has requested that Nahum remain in custody until the end of the proceedings.

Nahum's attorney, Keren Nahari, said she hoped the court would release him after discussing evidence. "The police have drawn a picture of serious offenses of violence and force, but all the offenses, if they were committed, were commited by consent," she said, adding that most of his alleged offenses would be considered misdemeanors.

The affair first came to light when security personnel in one of the chat rooms Nahum visited informed the police of a person posing as a 16-year-old for some years.

The police solicited testimonies from girls who did not file complaints, saying "we ask girls and young women to whom this story sounds familiar to file a complaint with the police. We believe that many girls were hurt by this man."