Underage Sex Scandal

Police Question Eyal Golan Again, Judge Extends Father’s Custody

Source: Main catch in probe is girls’ reluctance to testify against their idol.

Police summoned singer Eyal Golan for another interview Thursday about the extent of his alleged role in a sex scandal involving teenage girls as young as 15. Golan’s father and an assistant are suspected of exploiting the vocal superstar’s celebrity to have sex with underage girls.

A Tel Aviv court Thursday extended by four days the detention of Golan’s father, Danny Biton, and of Tzachi Asulin, an assistant and manager in Golan’s production company. The two are suspected of statutory rape, inciting a minor to drug use and procuring minors, growing out of their alleged organization and participation in parties and gatherings at which the alleged sexual acts with underage girls took place.

The police’s main problem in the investigation is the reluctance of the girls, who are all Golan’s fans, to testify in court against him, a police source said. Also, some of their testimony appears to be exaggerated as the girls sought to play up the closeness of their connection to the star, the source added.

However, a police source stressed Thursday that the claims that the girls had lied about the events to get attention are groundless. The police official said the girls’ statements shed light on the modus operandi of Golan and the other suspects.

The girls testified that on several occasions Asulin, who was in charge of the contestants in the singer’s TV talent scouting show, “Eyal Golan is Calling You,” allegedly used his position to obtain sexual favors.

All the contestants auditioning for the show knew Asulin was a powerful man who was close to Golan. Asulin is suspected of picking the girls who were “to his taste” and promising to take them to a VIP room where they would meet Golan. In exchange, Asulin allegedly got the girls to let him take part in the sexual acts.

Golan’s father, Biton, is suspected of working in a similar fashion. Some of the girls told police that in exchange for a meeting with Golan and tickets to his performances, they engaged in sexual relations with Biton. He would also bring them to meetings with the other suspects in the affair, the girls said.

During the day police questioned 10 suspects in the case, including Golan’s driver and confidant. Golan himself had been put under house arrest for five days on Wednesday night after more than 13 hours of police questioning. Two of the other suspects in the case were also put under house arrest for five days.

In the ruling extending Biton and Asulin’s custody, Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court Judge Shmuel Melamed wrote, “The allegations against these suspects are grave. It is morally heinous to exploit the innocence of young girls who are attracted to the suspects’ glamour.”

Golan’s driver, who was also questioned by police Thursday, is suspected of having sexual contact with underage girls. His attorney Shahar Hetzroni said his client “is not connected to the major affair. This is a specific event the police wanted to investigate. I estimate he’ll be released within a few hours.”

The singer Omer Adam was also called in to give evidence Thursday. Police sources said Adam is not suspected of being involved in the sex scandal, but since he had attended some of the parties they wanted to take his testimony about the goings on and the people who attended them.

Olivier Fitoussi