Court Remands Man Accused of Raping Mentally Disabled Woman

Sinai Tal, 52, of Kiryat Motzkin, who is suspected of raping a 32-year-old mentally challenged woman, had a third remand hearing yesterday at the Krayot Magistrate's Court. The court decided to keep Tal behind bars for now.

Several parents of children with disabilities demonstrated outside the courtroom, and called on the court to stiffen sentences for those who attack "the sexually disabled."

Tal, an old friend of the victim's father, is suspected of sodomizing the woman a week ago, exploiting her mental disability for the purpose.

The attack allegedly took place at an apartment the victim's parents had rented for her recently so she could gain some independence.

The woman told her family that Tal had also forced himself on her a year and a half ago, telling her on both occasions not to tell anyone.

"What hurts is that it's your friend, that scumbag. He killed my daughter," her father said yesterday. His friendship with Tal went back many years. "He was a singer of the old Israeli songbook and we would invite him to family events," he said. He added that his daughter is sociable, and that because of her disability, "Dad's friends become her friends. She would not go near strangers, but because she knew this was a friend of ours, she got close to him. It's a friend of the family." Tal claims the woman telephoned him and invited him to her apartment, adding that the sex was consensual.

"Does she understand what constitutes consent and what doesn't?" her father asked rhetorically. "We trusted you and you raped her."