A 16-year-old female suspect from the southern city of Ashkelon is to be indicted this week for allegedly brutally abusing a 13-year-old girl and forcing her to have sex with a 31-year-old man for money that she was then required to turn over to the 16-year-old.
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The man is expected to be indicted for rape in the case, and criminal charges are also expected against several other juveniles for allegedly unusually cruel, violent acts directed at the victim. The main 16-year old suspect has been under house arrest for about two weeks and the adult rape suspect had been in detention for about a week.
Law enforcement officials allege that several weeks ago the 16-year-old and a female friend of 13 and a half forced the victim's head into a hole that they dug on the beach and which was filled with sand and water. The main suspect is then alleged to have forced the victim to go with her to an apartment where Sudanese migrants were living and offered the victim to them as a prostitute. That evening it is suspected that the victim was forced to have sex with one of the residents of the apartment in an Ashkelon park.
Police allege that in another incident, a group of teens including the primary suspect abused the victim, putting lit cigarettes out on her face, kicking her, setting her hair on fire and spitting at her. A boy of about 12 is also suspected of poking her in the abdomen with a sharp branch until she bled. The following day, according to the allegations, the main suspect and two other teenage girls are said to have taken the victim to a location near Ashkelon's rollerblading Skatepark, where they are said to have abused her again, throwing a fire extinguisher at her, stuffing a piece of cloth in her mouth and demanding that she pay them 300 shekels ($85) within a few days.
The main suspect is also accused of threatening to place explosives under the victim's mother's car.
The alleged abuse became known about two weeks ago when the victim asked for money from a counselor at an Asheklon youth club. Initially the victim explained away the burn on her face as an injury that she sustained while frying food. At first, she refused to cooperate with the counselor and the police, but later provided details regarding what she said she had undergone.
The adult male rape suspect denies the allegations against him but police claim they have refuted his alibi. The police said that under questioning, the main 16-year-old suspect claimed that the victim owed her money from a poker game and initially denied the allegations against her. She later admitted to acts of extortion against the victim over an extended period, to abusing the victim and forcing her into prostitution, according to the police.
The suspect's public defender, Michael Bouskila, said that the case was in its early stages but that it was clear that his client came from what he called a "complicated" family situation, adding that she had experienced "major tragedies." The lawyer said he would respond further once an indictment is filed.
The adult male suspect's lawyer, Akram Hasuna, who was also appointed through the public defender's office, said his client is cooperating with investigators and has denied all of the allegations against him.