An Israeli settler is facing multiple charges of sex crimes, including rape and sexual harassment, against 105 victims most of whom are said to be underage girls. Named by Israeli sources as 26-year-old Uriah Asis, the settler is from Emmanuel, an illegal Haredi settlement in the occupied West Bank, the same location was the centre of separate scandal two days ago involving a resident who is wanted for 74 counts of child sexual assault and rape in Australia.
It’s reported that Asis used a variety of alias online to lure underage girls and prey on women. The Jerusalem Post reported that his list of crimes include alleged rape, sodomy, sexual harassment and holding and manufacturing obscene materials.
The investigation is being handled by the Cyber Unit of the Office of the State Attorney.
Officers investigating the case say that Asis had been preying on women for years using the web in a “sophisticated and methodical” way. The judge presiding over the case wrote in the decision to prolong the arrest of Asis said that “it was the tip of the iceberg and that in such an investigation “the hands of the police must not be restrained.”
Asis disguised himself under a wide range of aliases. According to the Post he concealed his identity under “aliases of a policeman, an owner of a modeling agency, an IDF soldier, a swimming coach and a sex adviser”.
This is the second time in two days residents of Emmanuel woke up to a serious sex scandal. On Tuesday Israel Police recommended indicting ultra-Orthodox leader Yaakov Litzman- who also serves as Israel’s Deputy Health Minister – for aiding an accused paedophile.
Litzman is accused of fraud and breach of trust for having pressured the Jerusalem district psychiatrist, Dr. Yaakov Jacob Charnes, into saying that a settler from Emmanuel who was wanted in Australia for 74 counts of child sexual assault and rape, was mentally unfit to stand trial.
The head of ultra-Orthodox party United Torah Judaism (UTJ) is suspected of having used his influence in Israel’s Health Ministry to influence the professional opinions of his subordinates regarding the case of Malka Leifer, wanted by Australian police for sex crimes committed in 2008. Her extradition was blocked after Jerusalem district psychiatrist ruled that Leifer was mentally unfit to attend an extradition hearing.
Attempts to foil Australian authorities failed after Leifer was re-arrested in 2018 following an undercover investigation where she was filmed living a “normal, healthy life” in Emmanuel.