Police Now Treating Tel Aviv Nightclub Case as Suspected Gang Rape

New direction comes after woman claims she 'wasn’t in her right mind' when she had sex with several men. Demonstrators call for TA club’s closure.

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Protesters outside the Allenby 40 nightclub, October 6, 2015.
Protesters outside the Allenby 40 nightclub, October 6, 2015.Credit: Dudu Bachar

Tel Aviv police on Tuesday began investigating an incident at Tel Aviv’s Allenby 40 nightclub, in which a woman was filmed having sex with several men on the club’s bar, as a suspected gang rape.

Prosecutors instructed investigators to take that tack after the woman, who had previously described the sex as consensual, told Channel 2 News over the weekend that “at that moment I might have consented, but the consent wasn’t given when I was in my right mind,” because she had been plied with so many drinks that she was heavily intoxicated.

The woman said she had agreed to get onto the bar wearing a bathing suit. “At some point, at which I was no longer aware of anything, they just removed it.”

The nightclub Allenby 40.Credit: Aviad Herman

The prosecution said that to date there had been no rape investigation because no complaint of rape had been filed, only a claim about the public obscenity. When the incident, which occurred several months ago, was first investigated, the woman denied being raped, coerced, or being unaware of what was happening. As a result, the case was handled as one of disturbing the peace.

The Tel Aviv prosecutors office said, “The case reached the prosecution as a case of suspected public obscenity and not as a rape case. When it emerged during the past few days that there may be a suspicion of rape, the prosecution asked the police to complete the investigation as soon as possible.”

The Israel Police said, “Today, after a prosecution examination and after one of those involved provided new information through the media, it was decided to return the case to the investigation unit and question those involved on suspicion of alleged rape.”

Tuesday night several hundred people demonstrated in front of the nightclub and demanded it be shut down, accusing the club of “making profit from rape.” The demonstrators yelled slogans and held up signs that said, among other things, “Allenby 40 destroys lives, we’re here to destroy Allenby 40,” and “What would you do if it was your daughter?”

The demonstration came several days after a Facebook page was launched calling for Allenby 40 to be closed, claiming the club exploited women.

MK Revital Swid (Zionist Union) who attended the demonstration, said she had spoken to the woman involved for an hour.

“The girl is broken, shattered, incapable of leaving her house. She is having suicidal thoughts,” Swid said. “Although she had reached a state where she didn’t know what was happening to her, a number of men exploited her and had sex with her. That’s rape.” Swid called on the club’s patrons to be questioned and the club closed “because a crime was committed there.”

MK Merav Michaeli, also of the Zionist Union, said, “Finally there’s an understanding that investigating and prosecuting rapists is not the complainant’s job but that of law enforcement.”

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