Israeli Rape Suspect Released After Woman Chooses to Leave Hospital

The woman in her 40s said she was beaten and raped in Netanya by a 60-year-old homeless man

Rape victim (illustration).
Tomer Noiberg

The suspect in an alleged rape in Netanya was released by a court Wednesday after the complainant left the hospital before the police could take her testimony.

After the first five days of the detention ended, the police asked the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court to extend it by another five days. But Judge Oded Moreno said the homeless 60-year-old suspect, who vehemently denied the allegations, would be released.

“Because the victim left the hospital without the police taking testimony from her, there’s no way to prove what caused her bruises and whether they're  connected to the prisoner or not,” argued Dina Bronstein, the suspect’s public defender.

"The suspect’s version of events was not disproved or checked. We asked from the first hearing for the testimony of the alleged victim, and the doubts about our suspect have been dropped completely.”

On Friday, the woman in her 40s said she was beaten and raped on Herzl Street in Netanya. Passersby who noticed her called the police and the Magen David Adom rescue service.

Witnesses said she smelled of alcohol and was bruised on her face and head. She was taken to Laniado Hospital in Netanya sedated and on a respirator. She was then moved to Meir Hospital in Kfar Sava and from there to Wolfson Hospital in Holon, which she left on her own accord.

An hour after she was hospitalized the suspect was arrested. The police are now searching for the woman, who never filed a formal police complaint.