Man Quizzed Over Suspicions He Didn’t Stop 'Gang Rape'

Police investigating 'rape video' case at Tel Aviv club question emcee of wet T-shirt contest on night of incident

Aviad Herman

Police questioned Sunday the man who served as emcee of a wet T-shirt competition that took place at a Tel Aviv nightclub on the night when a young woman was filmed there having sex with multiple partners on the bar.

He was questioned for a number of hours under caution, over suspicions that he did nothing to prevent a gang rape taking place in his presence.

His summons is part of the reopening and expansion of the investigation ordered by the Tel Aviv District Prosecutors office, which had earlier closed the case because the woman involved had told police the sex at the Allenby 40 nightclub was consensual. After the video of the incident was made public, she changed her story, saying she had been under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and would not have consented otherwise.

Sources close to the investigation say the man told investigators he would visit the club every few weeks to emcee wet T-shirt contests there. On that evening, he said, he was given a list of women at the club who were prepared to participate and called them up to stand on the bar by name.

The emcee reportedly told police that the woman in question got up on the bar in a miniskirt, but almost immediately stripped down to her bathing suit. At a certain point, he reportedly told police, she got off the bar and started to circulate among the patrons, trying to find someone who would dance on the bar with her. She later returned to the bar alone.

The emcee told police he wasn’t sure when she totally undressed, but that he later saw her naked with a man. He claimed not to have seen the two having sex. He only became aware of that after the event, he said, when people started talking about it.

Police believe the emcee’s testimony on this point is inaccurate, since the videos in the possession of the police make it clear that anyone standing where the suspect was probably couldn’t have missed what was happening.

Nevertheless, police believe the emcee never encouraged the woman to go up on the bar, never offered her any money to do so and, even more important, doubt he knew whether the woman had consumed drugs or alcohol, and how much.

The emcee said that while he did not know the woman, the owners of the club knew her, as did employees and many of the patrons there that night, because she spent a lot of time there.

The man also told police that she had been seen in the club after the evening documented on the videos, but whether that’s true is still being investigated.

Although the investigation was reopened in response to the woman’s subsequent testimony, sources involved say there are contradictions that make her new version of events questionable.

For example, although the woman claims she was so under the influence that she was unaware of her surroundings, she also claimed that the nightclub owners looked at her several times during the sex acts and did nothing to stop them.

And although she claims she remembers nothing of what was documented in the videos, she was able to accurately recall details about things that had transpired that evening, including details about other people, which someone in a stupor wouldn’t likely be able to recall.