Israeli Man Indicted in Rape, Sexual Abuse of 45 Underage Girls

The 26-year-old resident of an ultra-Orthodox settlement allegedly used false identities to contact girls over the internet

FILE Photo: A suspect under arrest.
Olivier Fitoussi

A 26-year-old resident of the ultra-Orthodox settlement of Emmanuel was indicted Sunday for rape and other sexual crimes against 45 underage girls.

Uriah Assis allegedly assumed false identities – including that of a swimming coach, a wealthy businessman and a woman – and contacted the girls on the internet over the last four years, Kan TV reported.

The charges against Assis, filed in Tel Aviv District Court, include rape and sodomy of a minor, indecent assault, sexual harassment, making threats, obstruction of justice and the possession and production of child pornography.

He is alleged to have asked the girls to send him nude or semi-nude photos, which he then threatened to post online if they went to the authorities. In some cases he asked them to sodomize themselves. He also met several of the girls in person, forcing himself on them, Ynet reported.

Assis’ attorney said his client suffered from schizophrenia. However, a psychiatric examination found that he was faking the mental illness and is fit to stand trial, The Times of Israel reported.

The prosecutor’s office asked that Assis remain in jail until the trial.

Malka Leifer, who is accused of molesting several girls while principal of a Haredi girls’ school in Australia, lived in Emmanuel for several years, feigning mental illness to prevent being extradited to Australia for trial. She has been in prison for over a year but is yet to be extradited.