Another Minor Indicted in Eilat Gang Rape of 16-year-old

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The Red Sea Hotel, where the assault took place, in August 2020.
The Red Sea Hotel, where the assault took place, in August 2020.Credit: Liav Peled

The prosecution indicted an additional suspect on Wednesday for his involvement in the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in a hotel in the Red Sea resort city of Eilat last year. He is the 12th person to be charged in the case.

The 17-year-old suspect is being charged with aggravated indecent assault, and his name remains under gag order due to his age. The other 11 suspects were charged in September.

The main suspects are Issi Refaelov and Elizir Meirov, two 27-year-old residents of the coastal city of Hadera. The other suspects are from two different groups, but all from central Israel. Most of their names are barred from publication, as they are also minors.

According to the indictment, Refaelov and Meirov brought the teenage girl, who was under the influence, to room 216 in the Red Sea Hotel, where they raped her. The two others charged with aggravated rape are 17-year-old twin brothers, residents of Lachish.

The rest of the suspects – 19-year-old Osher Shlomo of Moshav Noga and six minors from Lachish – were charged with aiding rape, indecent assault and failure to stop a crime, in accordance with their role in the event. The 12th suspect attended hearings over recent months, and was charged on Wednesday.

According to the prosecution's announcement from September, the men charged with rape "carried out one after another, over the course of about an hour, sometimes as a group, cruel sex crimes against a minor out of loss of humanity and while blatantly ignoring her anguish."

Refaelov even filmed Meirov raping the girl with his cell phone; he was therefore also charged with the crimes of damaging privacy and publishing obscene material.  

The prosecution added that "The indictment shows that the suspects treated the complainant as an object, as a vessel for satisfying their urges, and none of them tried to stop what was happening or to help the minor in any way."

The prosecution decided to file one indictment against all of the suspects to the Be'er Sheva District Youth Court, so that the victim would not have to testify multiple times as part of separate proceedings.

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