Shlomi Day-care Center Owner Arrested for Raping Children

Four complaints have been filed against the 70-year-old suspect with the police.

A 70-year-old Shlomi man was arrested Friday on suspicion of sexually assaulting a number of four- and five-year-old girls while transporting them from the day-care center he and his wife operate to their homes.

Four complaints have been filed against the suspect with the police, who expect additional victims to come forth.

The suspect was picked up by Nahariya police Friday and ordered by the city's magistrate's court to remain in custody until tomorrow.

Police said the suspect has acknowledged his connection to the alleged acts but explained them in terms that suggest they were lesser offenses.

At this stage investigators are not certain of the extent of the alleged offenses or of the time period over which they were allegedly committed.

Police officials contacted the parents of the children at the preschool in order to gather more information.

The girls are being questioned by officials who specialize in interviewing children.

Local welfare authorities have also been brought in, despite the fact that the day-care center is a privately run facility.

Shlomi Mayor Gabi Naaman said he was not surprised by the arrest, noting that seven months ago he had referred a woman who suspected her daughter had been sexually abused to local social service authorities and also filed a police complaint.

Naaman said that three weeks ago police officials told the city the case against the suspect was to be closed due to insufficient public interest.

Police officials said the investigation of the complaint seven months did not tie the suspect to the alleged offenses.

Naaman said the municipality is monitoring the investigation.

"I take this opportunity to call on parents to pay attention and check very carefully where they leave their children. I recommend that parents to bring their children to the municipal day-care center, where supervision is much more extensive and professional," he explained.