Four of Five Boys Questioned Over Alleged Gang Rape of Israeli Teen Released

Police say there was insufficient evidence to continue detaining the minors after a 13-year-old girl filed a complaint that she was raped repeatedly on school grounds

An Israeli officer a the scene of a crime.
Gil Eliyahu

Four teenage boys were released Sunday under conditions after a 13-year-old girl told police she had been raped several times in school by older students.

The four were released after police investigators said there was insufficient evidence to detain them.

The Be’er Sheva Magistrate’s Court on Sunday extended by 24 hours the detention of the fifth suspect, who was arrested Saturday.

The girl filed a police complaint on Friday, saying she had been raped repeatedly over a 10-day period by four 16-year-old boys, who recorded some of the acts with their phones.

>> Read more: I didn't report my rape because I was 7. I could be murdered for this, but I can't stay silent ■ The right is politicizing the rape of a 7-year-old girl | Opinion

According to Channel 13 News, the four took the girl to a shelter during recess. Two of them raped her and two remained outside to keep watch. Police say the investigation is still in its early stages and they can’t say what each suspect’s role was.

Channel 13 also played a recording of the girl’s father, who can be heard saying that she came to him on Friday, saying that she had something to tell him.

“She said, ‘Dad, I want to talk with you,’ he recalled. “‘Dad, I was raped at school.’ I asked her, ‘What happened?’ She told me that for 10 days, four boys would tie her up in the shelter. Two stood guard outside, and two were inside – one raping her and the other filming. Then they’d switch and the second would rape her. This happened twice a day, and at school.”

The girl said that the boys threatened to kill her little brother if she told anyone that she’d been raped.

The school found out after a teacher noticed the girl’s unusual behavior and spoke with her. At first the girl refused to talk about it, but later she did told her teacher. She asked the school not to tell her family, but told her father anyway when she returned home.

After she told her father, the family went to the police, at the same time trying to find out the boys’ identities. The girl did not tell the police the boys’ names, saying she didn’t know them because they were in higher grades.

Before his arrest, one of the suspects came to the police, saying that people close to the girl had threatened him. He was arrested and confronted with the girl.

“He doesn’t know her at all,” the suspect’s lawyer told Haaretz. “He’s never met her and he wasn’t at the place where the girl says the rape happened.”

The police requested a 10-day extension of custody, but the court only extended it by one day. The police arrested some of the boy’s friends, two of whom were released, after the girl said she didn’t recognize them.

The police have not yet found any video of the incident. A physician who examined the girl was trying to find evidence to support the complaint. The girl will receive psychological support at one of the centers dealing with such assaults, located in the Negev. The girl’s father said her condition was serious and that she couldn’t stop crying.