Israel Police to Ask if Club Owners Were in Cahoots With Real-estate Mogul Accused of Rape

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Alon Kastiel, a real-estate mogul and frequent club-goer, whom some women have accused of rape and sexual assault, in 2009.
Alon Kastiel, the real-estate mogul and frequent club-goer, whom some women have accused of rape and of sexual assault, in 2009.Credit: Yael Engelhart

The Israel Police is expected to call in for questioning under caution a number of Tel Aviv nightclub owners, after a young woman filed a rape complaint against real-estate mogul Alon Kastiel.

The woman's charges against Kastiel, a known figure at these clubs, were submitted Sunday following a number of recent media reports concerning his alleged sexual assault of several women. Police will likely interrogate Kastiel himself in the coming days. The hope is that the woman's decision to file charges will encourage other women to complain, should they have cause to do so.

Police officials said that they would try to determine in their investigation whether the club owners knew about the alleged acts but conspired with Kastiel to cover them up. They will also check whether security cameras recorded any such acts on film that was brought to the attention of the owners, and whether the information was not passed on to the police in real time.

“Everything will be investigated,” said one police source. “We are only in the initial stage of establishing a special investigation unit.”

Kastiel has reportedly denied the charges against him.

A few days ago, The Hottest Place in Hell website stated that Kastiel was barred from The Block club, in which he was a partner, as well as The Deli, Breakfast and Lost Panda clubs following complaints by women that he had either sexually harassed or sexually assaulted them. Owners of these clubs apparently asked him never to return.

Yaron Trax, a co-owner of The Block, told Haaretz over the weekend, “We were sorry to hear the news about Alon Kastiel.” He said: “As a club that works in coordination with the Rape Crisis Center and the police, which strictly obeys the law and clear rules, the main one being a prohibition on aggressive and insensitive behavior toward others’ personal space, and which sees itself as leading the war to extinguish the phenomenon of harassment in night life – we believe that the time has passed when men can harass women without being accountable to the law.”

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