Parents Charged With Physical, Sexual Abuse of 4-year-old Son in Central Israel

Father captured on hospital cameras sexually abusing boy; mother injected salt water into his IV line.

A view of Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer outside Tel Aviv.
Tomer Appelbaum

A married couple from central Israel was charged Thursday for abusing their 4-year-old son while he was hospitalized at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer last month. The father was charged with two counts of indecent acts against a child. The mother was charged with assault and abuse, after she was filmed injecting a substance into his intravenous line.

The parents, whose names have not been released for publication, were arrested in February, after hospital staff called police to investigate suspicions that they were abusing their son. Police officers placed hidden cameras in the boy’s hospital room, which showed his mother adding a substance to his IV line and the father assaulting him sexually.

The parents have been in police custody since their arrest, and prosecutors have asked that they remain in detention for the duration of legal proceedings.

The indictment, which was served in Tel Aviv District Court, charges the father with performing unspecified indecent acts on his son as his wife, the boy’s mother, slept nearby. The mother is charged with injecting salt water on two occasions into the child’s IV line. As a result of the mother’s actions, the charge sheet states, the boy’s body temperature rose, his blood sodium levels fluctuated and he had diarrhea.

Even after the rise in the child’s blood sodium levels on one of these occasions endangered his life and led doctors to move him to an intensive care unit, the indictment states that the mother continued to abuse the boy.

Yehuda Fried and Tal Gabay, defense attorneys for the parents, said in a statement that the father denied all the charges against him. The father “treated the boy for a medical issue and committed no offense. With regard to the mother she sought only to care for her child to the best of her ability and his welfare. She hopes to continue to care for him with the same devotion with which she treated him and her other children up to now.”