Court to Rule on Identifying Suspects in Pedophile Case

A Tel Aviv court is to decide today whether to release the names of three public figures suspected of sexually abusing a minor and being involved in pedophile acts.

Ten men were arrested last week on suspicion of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy over two years. Seven suspects were remanded for 10 days. An attorney, a sports coach and a senior Internet executive were released to house arrest. On Friday the first two were released from custody while the Internet executive's house arrest was extended by five days.

Police believe that several of the suspects have committed indecent acts and sodomy with at least 20 other victims.

The Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court last week allowed publishing five suspects' names after 2 P.M. today, while upholding the ban on five other suspects' names, including the two celebrities - the coach and Internet executive - and the attorney. The suspects, whose names may be released today, have allegedly raped other minors as well.

The magistrate said he banned releasing the coach and Internet figure's names because doing so would reveal their sexual orientation, which could cause them grave personal and professional damage.

The attorneys for the remaining suspects have appealed to the Tel Aviv District Court against the decision to release their clients' names and sought to bar the publication of names at least until the suspects' indictment.

Police found movies in one of the suspect's homes showing children aged 3 to 8 having sexual intercourse with adults. The suspect works inter alia as a therapist in kindergartens. In another suspect's home police found cassettes showing him having sex with men and at least one minor.

The minor who went to the police, now 15, who is believed to have been sexually abused since age 13, said in weekend interviews: "I was afraid of them and they took advantage of me. I'm not to blame for this, only they are."

His mother said the suspects had abused her son, taking him from their home to rented apartments where some of them drugged him and made him drink alcoholic drinks and then raped him.