A major criminal indictment was filed on Thursday against a 50-year-old father of 11 children in Jerusalem District Court on allegations that he had committed sexual offenses against two of his daughters for a period of years, including rape.
The alleged offenses came to light after the older daughter who is said to have been victimized by her father since she was 7, is said to have discovered recently that her father had also abused her younger sister. The defendant is from a highly prominent and well-connected ultra-Orthodox family. He was arrested about two weeks ago and his detention has been several times. A gag order imposed in the case was partially lifted Thursday with the filing of an indictment.
The prosecution has asked that he be ordered held in custody until the end of legal proceedings against him. The indictment includes charges of rape, sodomy and indecent acts against the two girls. The investigation of the case, which included the involvement of social welfare authorities, uncovered evidence that the defendant sexually assaulted the older daughter from when she was 7 until she left the family household at 17.
It was after that that the man allegedly began sexually abusing the younger daughter, who was 11 at the time. He allegedly continued to do so until authorities learned of the allegations about a month ago. The daughters are now 23 and 15 and a half.
"Over the past two weeks, in questioning the suspect, we saw [evidence of] the shocking acts that the suspect committed on his daughters over the course of years in frequent intervals," said Deputy Commander Gilad Bahat, deputy commander at the Zion police station in Jerusalem.
Police investigators and social welfare staff also attempted to discern whether the suspect had abused on daughters and have found no evidence of this. The police said both the ultra-Orthodox community and the family itself have been cooperating with investigators.
In May in a separate case, the ultra-Orthodox community was shaken by the indictment of a well-known rabbi in Jerusalem who was also charged with abusing two female family members from the time they were young children until adulthood.