Police Press Court to Lift Gag Order in Pedophile Case

The attorney arrested last Sunday in the affair of the group of men accused of sexually abusing a minor whom they met via the Internet, will this morning ask the court to rescind the gag order in his case after the police cleared him of all suspicions yesterday.

In an appeal by the police against the court's decision to prohibit publication of the names of five of the 10 suspects in the case, the police wrote that the attorney "is unconnected to the case of sexual offenses against minors, and contrary to the initial suspicion against him, and after full investigation, it is clear that [the attorney] is no longer suspected of committing any sexual offense."

The man's lawyer, Avi Himi, is to ask the Tel Aviv District Court to lift the gag order.

As published yesterday in Haaretz, one of the men, a senior Internet executive, is suspected of sodomizing other minors under 16 in addition to other alleged sexual offenses against the principle victim in the case.

In the police appeal to the court, Staff Sgt. Maj. Ya'akov Bernard explained that suspicions against the other men in the case have grown: The sports coach is suspected of twice sodomizing the minor when the latter was under 16, of committing an indecent act and of threatening the minor. "The court was mistaken when it gave weight to the idea of 'bringing the suspects out of the closet' by releasing their names; the offenses they allegedly committed are serious and shocking when it comes to minors," the appeal stated.

The court is due to discuss the appeal tomorrow and the request of the suspects' lawyers to maintain the gag order.