Four Israeli Professional Soccer Players Grilled by Police Over Sex-abuse Video

The case opened after a video started circulating on WhatsApp last week, showing soccer players performing demeaning sexual acts on a motionless woman

Beitar Jerusalem striker Antony Varenne, one of the four soccer players linked to the sex-abuse video police is now investigating.
Nir Keidar

Four soccer players who were filmed allegedly in the process of performing sexual acts on a motionless woman were questioned by police on suspicion of sexual assault and abuse on Wednesday.

One of them was Beitar Jerusalem striker Antony Varenne, who is one of Israel’s top soccer players.

Bar Mizrahi of Hapoel Mahaneh Yehuda of the premier league and another player from a lower league are also seen in the video, alongside Varenne.

The three were released under restrictions for 30 days, during which they were forbidden to make contact with the woman, who appears to be unconscious in the video.

The case opened following a video that was circulated on Whatsapp last week.

Mizrahi, who filmed the video, was questioned on suspicion of sexual assault. He was asked if the sexual acts were consensual and the police took content from his mobile phone.

Mizrahi, who knew the young woman, was the one who brought her together with the other three appearing in the video.

“It’s regrettable that some MKs’ whim has become much ado about nothing,” said Mizrahi’s lawyer Moshe Yohai.

“We’re glad the police decided to release Bar, this shows there was no criminal offense.”

The woman, whose name was given to the police, is expected to testify.

It is not clear when the video was taken, whether the woman knew or agreed to be filmed and if she was conscious at the time.

Varenne’s lawyer, Haim Abergil, said earlier this week that he had text messages proving the woman and players were on friendly terms and another video of the same event, in which she looks conscious.