Five Men Charged in Rape of Intellectually Disabled 17-year-old in Northern Israel

Investigative findings show one of the accused took the teen to a forest, where his friends were waiting

Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel
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The suspects in the rape case.
The suspects in the rape case.
Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel

Five male residents of the Galilee, three of them brothers, were indicted on Monday for the gang rape of an intellectually disabled 17-year-old girl.

Investigative findings show one of the accused picked up the victim from her home following a referral by another man. He took her to a forest, where his friends were waiting – and they raped her one by one.

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Prosecutors asked the Haifa District Court to keep the suspects in custody until the end of their trial. The request said that the suspects, identified as Rashid Nasser, Mohammed Nasser, Tamer Nasser, Maher Badran and Udi Nasser, aged 23 to 32 ought to remain behind bars“in light of the high level of danger expected from the five, who acted against a minor with horrifying brutality.” All the suspects live in the Arab towns of Rameh and Bi’ina in the Upper Galilee region of northern Israel.

At the beginning of the month, the girl’s parents reported to the police that she was missing, and security camera footage taken near their home showed her getting into an unidentified car. Four hours later she returned home, and her parents informed the police. Investigators asked the family to come to the station to provide details, where it turned out the girl had been sexually assaulted.

She described to investigators what had happened. The family hadn’t complained about a sexual assault and investigators learned this had happened when they spoke with the girl. A child specialist from the Labor and Social Services Ministry took preliminary testimony from the girl, and understood she had suffered a gang rape. She had a large number of bruises and required medical care. After being taken for an examination, she led police investigators to the scene of the crime, in a forest near Carmiel. The car in which the rape took place was found abandoned, the indictment says.

Police Superintendent Yehuda Alhayani was appointed to head the investigation. He discovered that the girl had been playing a game on social media where she addressed one of the players in Arabic. The player, described as someone serving a sentence of community service, did not understand Arabic and passed on the conversation to Rashid Nasser, a friend seated nearby who does speak Arabic.

Rashid Nasser was the one who drove to the girl’s home, even though she found it difficult to explain to him where she was, and took her to the forest. He called the three other defendants to join them – Mohammed and Tamer Nasser, and Maher Badran, and all four committed the alleged serious offenses against her. Afterward, they called the fifth defendant, Udi Nasser, who arrived and drove the girl home, assaulting her on the way as well.