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Israel charges suspects in Eilat gang rape of teenager

Red Sea resort of Eilat [Wikipedia]
Red Sea resort of Eilat, 21 January 2019 [Wikipedia]

Israel's state attorney has charged 11 suspects over the August gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in a hotel in the Red Sea resort of Eilat. The suspects include three adults and eight minors.

According to the Times of Israel, two of the suspects, named as Ilizir Meirov, 27, and Isi Raphaelov, 28, both have criminal records and have previously served time in prison.

It is alleged that Raphaelov and Meirov broke into a room at the Red Sea Hotel and brought the girl who was drunk. Raphaelov is also said to have claimed he was a medic offering her help.

"The defendants treated the plaintiff as an object, as a tool to satisfy their desires and none of the defendants tried to stop what was happening and provide any sort of help," a statement from prosecutors said.

READ: Egypt detains second suspect in alleged rape case, three more held in Lebanon

"Afterward, the defendants, for an hour, one after another, brutally committed sexual offenses against the girl, while losing their humanity and demonstrated disregard for her distress, until the girl was taken out of the room by another defendant at the request of her friend," the indictment said.

Four of the suspects have been indicted on rape charges over the incident, while the remainder are facing various charges such as committing indecent acts and aiding and abetting a rape.

Local media initially reported that up to 30 men were involved in the incident. As the news broke last month, multiple protests were held against sexual violence in the country, with many Israelis also staging mass walkouts from workplaces.

According to the Association of Rape Crisis Centres in Israel, 84 per cent of sexual offences cases are dropped without charges and most cases go unreported.

Last year, a 19-year-old British woman was allegedly gang-raped by 12 Israeli men at a hotel in Cyprus. However, she was later found guilty of lying about being raped and given a four-month suspended sentence and the suspects were freed. The woman maintains she was made to falsely confess to lying about it under ten hours of questioning. Her lawyer said she was appealing against her conviction.

READ: Cyprus rape case: UK teen to return home

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