Tel Aviv real estate entrepreneur and nightclub owner Alon Kastiel was charged with rape and other sex offenses in the Tel Aviv District Court on Friday morning. He was remanded into custody indefinitely.
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Kastiel was detained by Tel Aviv police two-and-a-half weeks ago. The indictment against him describes six different incidents between 2007 and 2015 in which he allegedly raped, attempted to rape or committed indecent acts against six women.
According to the first count, Kastiel raped a young woman who worked with him in an accountant's office. After the two drank alcoholic drinks at a party, the indictment alleges, Kastiel asked the woman to leave with him but she preferred to stay. Shortly after, she began feeling weak and dizzy. Kastiel is charged with driving her to his parents' home in Ramat Hasharon, where he raped her.
Several months later, according to the indictment, Kasteil met a woman who worked in a nightclub of which he was co-owner. He invited the woman and her friends to drink at his expense, before asking the woman to accompany him to a back room in the club. There, he allegedly raped her, despite her protestations that she wasn't interested and had a boyfriend. He only stopped when her boyfriend phoned her cell phone, according to the indictment.
The prosecution requested that Kastiel be remanded until the end of the proceedings against him, saying that he was a danger to women in general and particularly to the complainants.
Kastiel's attorney said after the court session that the defense had not yet seen the evidence in the case. "At first we heard of 14 instances and now only six remain. I'll be able to respond after I see the evidence," he said.
Dozens of women are believed to have complained about Kastiel in the media and on social media, after reports that Kastiel had been banned from a number of Tel Aviv night spots after women complained of sexual harassment by him.
Kastiel is suspected of using similar methods in all the cases, police sources told Haaretz. This includes allegedly using a “date rape” drug.
Two friends of Kastiel have also been arrested on suspicions of trying to obstruct the police investigation, including by trying to help Kastiel erase messages and posts from his computer and cell phone. They were placed under house arrest last week.
Kastiel denies all the accusations against him.
Before his arrest, reports about Kastiel’s alleged offenses appeared in several media outlets. According to the Hebrew website “The Hottest Place in Hell,” where the first reports about him surfaced, Kastiel was being refused entry to the Block Club, in which he’s a partner, as well as to three other Tel Aviv clubs – the Breakfast Club, Lost Panda and Deli – in response to complaints from women that he had sexually harassed or assaulted them there. Then more women began to complain about him.
Kastiel said earlier in response to the accusations of sexual assault against him: “These things never happened. It’s a harsh libel and untrue.”
As for being kicked out of nightclubs, he said he respects all people and if “my behavior toward any woman was interpreted by her, or by others, as inappropriate, then I apologize for that greatly. I do not have and never had any bad intentions. Also, I want to ask forgiveness from the depths of my heart if I hurt anyone,” he said.