Four Men Convicted of Gang Rape Receive Up to 17 Years in Prison

The incident, which happened four years ago, already led to the conviction of a fifth man who acted as a lookout

Illustration, a man in chains
Olivier Fitoussi

Four Eritrean men received sentences of between six and 17 years in prison on Monday, after the Central Region District Court convicted them of kidnapping and gang raping a woman in the apartment where they lived in Rishon Letzion.

The State Prosecutor’s Office also announced that the victim has been missing since last November.

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The incident took place about four years ago, and since then the convicted men, in their 20s at the time of the attack, have been under arrest. Three were convicted on two counts of rape, while the fourth was convicted of abetting rape. A fifth man, Kinde Tedesa, who guarded the door of the room where the rape took place, was sentenced in a separate trial.

On the night of June 24, 2015, the five men met the victim, about 30, at the end of an evening in a snooker club. She was sitting outside a nearby shwarma restaurant with a male acquaintance and clearly intoxicated. Tedesa and his four friends, who lived nearby, gathered around the woman and invited her to join them.

Diverting the acquaintance’s attention, the four men started to drag the woman by force to a living room above the restaurant, laid her on a bed and left. Two of them entered the room separately and raped her as she cried for help. The gang rape lasted for about an hour and 40 minutes, with Tedesa guarding the door.

When the woman’s friend came he was told that she wasn’t there. After hearing her shouts, he came again to look for her. Tedesa tried to make him leave, but he refused and managed to get the woman out of the room. She said that Tedesa had asked to sleep with her, and did not force himself on her when she refused.

The men received punishments of up to 17 years’ imprisonment each and payment of compensation to the victim.

Judges Ruth Lorch, Zvi Dotan and Devora Atar said the incident had been planned by two of the men, who identified the woman as easy prey. The judges wrote that "their behavior showed great cruelty and lack of humanity, as they exploited her condition when she was drunk and unable to fight back.

"The video clips show the victim being led away and dragged to the scene of the rape like an object rather than a human being," the judges added.