Israel’s Supreme Court on Tuesday acquitted businessman Nissim Hadad, who had been previously convicted by a lower court of sodomizing an 18-month-old child. Two of the three Supreme Court justices, Menachem Mazuz and Salim Joubran, decided to acquit Hadad because of a reasonable doubt as to his guilt, while justice Isaac Amit chose to uphold the conviction.
Hadad was convicted in 2013 by the Tel Aviv District Court for sodomizing the infant son of his partner and sentenced to 17 years in prison. Hadad met the mother of the child three months before the alleged incident occurred, and they began a romantic relationship.
The prosecution claimed Hadad attacked the child while the mother and son were staying over at his house, and in the morning he took the child with him down into the basement of his building to the gym, where he supposedly committed the crime. He was indicted for causing bruises to the baby, who required surgical treatment and was hospitalized for six days as a result.
Hadad vehemently denied the charges. He said he took the baby to the gym so the mother could have time to prepare to go out together with him to a restaurant. She said that when they returned to the apartment, Hadad began to change the baby’s diaper, and she noticed something was wrong – and saw the diaper was filled with blood. The mother said Hadad claimed the infant had caused the injury himself.
Hadad was convicted based only on circumstantial evidence, medical opinions and DNA findings that showed a connection between Hadad and the injury to the baby. Security cameras in the building showed Hadad going down to the gym with a healthy baby who walked on his own, and half an hour later Hadad returned carrying the baby on his shoulder.
In addition, the lower court ruled that the various injuries could not have been caused by the child, rejected Hadad’s claims as unreasonable, saying the evidence allowed only one possible explanation, and convicted Hadad.
The prosecution said during the trial, “We do not know of any incident similar in its severity,” and thus asked the court for a very lengthy sentence.