Court Finds 'Reasonable Suspicion' Israeli Comedian Yaron Berlad Assaulted Teen

Despite judicial decision to release Israeli comedian from house arrest Friday, his lawyers and police agreed to extend his house arrest for a few more days.

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There is a “reasonable suspicion” that a comedian from popular Israeli television satire “Eretz Nehederet” (“Wonderful Country”) committed an indecent act, said Judge Ehud Kaplan of the Hadera Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

Nonetheless, the judge decided to allow Yaron Berlad to be released from house arrest. However, Berlad’s lawyers and the police agreed that he would remain under house arrest until Tuesday, while the investigation continues.

Berlad is suspected of indecently assaulting a 17-year-old girl. He denies all the allegations.

In addition, during Friday’s hearing police revealed that Berlad is also suspected of obstructing justice and suborning a witness.

Berlad, who denies the allegations, had been under house arrest for five days as of Friday. Police had asked the court to extend his house arrest for another 10 days.

In his ruling, the judge said it was very unlikely that Berlad had obstructed justice or could do so.

Kaplan did leave the ruling blocking Berlad from entering Hadera in place for the next 15 days.

Berlad’s lawyer told the court that the complainant had changed her story during the confrontation with Berlad arranged by the police, complaining about different incidents. Berlad told investigators he was the victim of extortion and threats, said his lawyer.

Channel 2 franchisee Keshet suspended Berlad from the show after his arrest.

According to investigators, Berlad and the girl were introduced three months ago by a mutual acquaintance. He is suspected of coming to the town where the girl lives and waiting for her in his car. After she entered the vehicle, he touched her inappropriately, she told police.

Stand up comedian Yaron Berlad. Credit: Kobi Kalmanovitz

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