Prosecutors have dropped the main rape charge against Tel Aviv real estate entrepreneur and nightclub owner Alon Kastiel because the statute of limitations has expired on the incident.
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Kastiel is still accused of a separate count of rape and sex crimes against a number of other women.
After the indictment was filed, Kastiel’s lawyers claimed that the main charge against their client actually took place – if it did take place – in March 2006, not 2007 as stated in the indictment.
Prosecutors asked the police to further investigate the matter. When they did, they discovered that the Purim party in question had indeed taken place in 2006. Lawyers produced evidence showing that Kastiel and the woman had worked together in an accounting firm, which Kastiel left in April 2006.
Prosecutors made clear that although the incident took place more than 10 years ago – the legal period for the statute of limitations in rape cases – they will still ask the woman to testify at the trial and use the incident to demonstrate Kastiel’s pattern of behavior.
Kastiel was indicted in Tel Aviv District Court last December. He is being detained until the end of legal proceedings against him.
The indictment describes six different incidents between 2007 and 2015 in which Kastiel allegedly raped, attempted to rape or committed indecent acts against six women.
Kastiel’s lawyers said it was disappointing that the police and prosecutors didn’t clarify the matter before filing an indictment against their client, at least they had recognized the facts now.
Kastiel denies all wrongdoing.