Rape Suspects Avoid Prosecution in Tel Aviv Nightclub 'Sex Video' Case

Prosecutors decide that offenses at Allenby 40 nightclub in October, when a woman was filmed having sex on a bar with multiple men, didn’t reach the level of criminal acts.

Exterior shot of the Allenby 40 nightclub in Tel Aviv.
David Bachar

The case against suspects who were investigated for alleged acts of rape and sexual indecency at a Tel Aviv nightclub last summer will be closed, the prosecution announced Thursday.

As Haaretz reported last week, the decision to close the case was made after the prosecution concluded that the offenses at the Allenby 40 nightclub did not reach the level of criminal acts.

The incident became headline news last October when footage of a young woman having sex on a bar with multiple men while others looked on went viral online.

After the story was reported by the national media, social media sites erupted and a protest was held outside Allenby 40 to protest the alleged "gang rape." The woman then came forward and said she had been too intoxicated to give her consent.

The suspects were investigated for rape and indecent acts committed under circumstances that prevented the complainant from giving consent due to intoxication. Other suspicions included making a person commit acts of prostitution, and arranging and organizing an obscene event.

The prosecution decided that it could not be determined at what stage of the evening, if any, the complainant was so drunk they couldn’t give their consent to the sexual acts that took place.

Dudu Bachar

Prosecutors reached this conclusion, they said, after watching video footage of the events, including some that was not made public, and based on eyewitness reports provided by those present at the club during the incidents.

The charge of prostitution could not be substantiated, the prosecution said, because there was insufficient evidence that anything was given in exchange for the sexual acts.

As for the obscenity charge, the prosecution cited Supreme Court precedent that pornography and documenting sex acts between consenting adults is not prohibited by law.

The prosecution said it had found various websites on which video clips were posted showing the complainant performing sexual acts. The prosecution’s cyber department blocked access to these videos.

This was the second time the Tel Aviv District Prosecutor’s Office has investigated the incident; it first opened the case when the videos were first published online. The first time, the suspected charge was the publication and distribution of obscene materials. It was decided not to pursue those charges because “the totality of the circumstances did not justify an indictment.”