Haifa Man Held for Falsely Imprisoning, Raping 22-year-old Woman

44-year-old Rafael Yochaiev is accused of having held the Tel Aviv woman in his apartment against her will for several days.

A Haifa court Wednesday ordered one of the city's residents held without bail on charges of false imprisonment, rape and sodomy.

Forty-year-old Rafael Yochaiev is accused of having held a 22-year-old Tel Aviv woman in his apartment against her will for several days.

The woman was seriously injured when she jumped from the apartment in order to escape. Only after regaining consciousness, ten days later, was she able to tell the story of the horrific abuse she endured.

About two weeks ago, the young woman was found close to a building on Haifa's Herzl Street. Police believed she had tried to commit suicide. She was hospitalized in critical condition in the city's Rambam Hospital.

When she regained consciousness a few days ago, she revealed her ordeal to investigators.

The woman testified that she had come to Haifa to visit a friend. She met the suspect in a cafe in the Hadar neighborhood.

After a short acquaintance, she accepted his invitation to his home. The suspect imprisoned the woman in his apartment and raped her, sodomized her and sexually assaulted her.

According to the victim, after a few days of repeated rapes, she took advantage of a moment of absentmindedness on the part of the suspect and jumped out of the third-floor window. She was seriously injured in the fall, breaking her pelvis and loosing consciousness.

Haifa Police Chief David Ben Atia said that following the woman's testimony, police launched an investigation and arrested the suspect, who has a record for property, burglary and violent offenses.

Ben Atia called the alleged victim's testimony "credible and consistent," while the suspect's story is not believable.

"We are taking the matter very seriously. The investigation is being handled by our most senior detectives. There is no doubt the suspect will be charged," Ben Atia asserted.

Yochaiev denies the charges, saying he had consensual relations with the woman and that he himself called rescue services when she jumped from the window.

The woman was transferred three days ago to Tel Aviv's Ichilov hospital to undergo treatment for her broken pelvis.

According to Ben Atia, her condition is improving and he believes she will be healthy soon.