Alleged Attempted Rape Victim Picks Out Ashkenazi's Bodyguard

Yuval Goren
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Yuval Goren

A photo line-up yesterday of possible suspects in the alleged attempted rape of a woman near the Tel Aviv port failed to produce results as the woman did not identify the prime suspect in the case, an Israel Defense Forces officer who served in the unit that guards IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi. In a face-to-face confrontation between the alleged victim and suspect, however, she insisted that he was her assailant.

Police in Tel Aviv expressed embarrassment over results of the photo line-up, but will seek an extension of the detention of the suspect, who is being publicly identified only as Captain A. Police are awaiting results of additional tests of evidence at the scene, which they think may link the suspect to the attempted rape in the early hours of last Saturday.

Yesterday morning the suspect was brought to the Yarkon District police headquarters in Tel Aviv, where investigators repeatedly confronted him with the suspicions against him. He is suspected of attacking the woman while drunk, dragging her to the banks of the Yarkon River and violently attempting to rape her. The suspect denied the allegations and portrayed himself as someone at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Later in the day, his alleged victim came to the police station after agreeing to review a photo line-up which included Captain A, but when presented with the photographs eight men with a similar appearance, after deliberating she picked out a picture that was not of the suspect. The line-up was conducted in the presence of Captain A's lawyers, one of whom later suggested that the police reconsider asking that the suspect's detention be extended, adding that her client had agreed to undergo a lie detector test which had not yet been carried out.

Police sources say they have substantial witness testimony linking the suspect to the crime and are hoping that lab tests reveal the presence of the suspect's DNA in samples taken from the victim's body.