Guard suspected of attempted rape indicted
Harsh indictment filed against IDF chief if staff's body guard for attempted aggravated rape, attempted sodomy, assault inflicting grievous bodily harm. Court extends remand by 10 days, orders defendant undergo psychiatric evaluation
Two weeks after the brutal attempted rape
at Tel Aviv Port, an indictment was filed Sunday against Captain Erez Efrati, the IDF chief of staff's security guard, whose name was cleared for publication last week. The court ordered the defendant undergo a psychiatric evaluation and extended his remand by 10 days.
Efrati is charged with aggravated attempted rape and attempted sodomy, assault inflicting grievous bodily harm, assault with intent to commit a crime, and threats.
According to the indictment, the complainant walked down Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv to the Reading parking lot near the port at 4:45 am, Saturday, November 28.
As she entered the parking lot, she noticed Efrati, who she did not know, following her. She hastened her stops until she reached her vehicle, and when she entered the car she closed to door in order to drive home.
Before she could start the vehicle, Efrati opened the door and dragged her out to the banks of the Yarkon River.
"The complainant screamed and begged him to leave her alone, but he kept dragging her, tightly grasping her shoulders, blocking her mouth with his hand and threatening that he would kill her if she screams," the indictment said.
He then allegedly pinned her down between the bushes, beat and strangled her, and threatened to kill her once again. The defendant then turned the complainant over, facing the muddy ground, and tried to sodomize her.
The complainant resisted and cried for help. In response, Efrati beat her severely in her head until she felt faint.
Passersby who heard the screams approached the scene. Efrat told one of the passersby, who noticed he was covering the complainant's mouth, that she was his girlfriend. The complainant then shouted that she does not know Efrati, and he punched her in the face.
The indictment goes on to detail the struggle between Efrati and the man who helped the complainant. The defendant pushed the man in the water, but the latter did not give up and seized Efrati once again to keep him away from the complainant.
The defendant then jumped into the river and tried to flee. He was ultimately caught when he hid behind the wooden pedestrian bridge crossing over the river.
As a result of Efrati's actions, the indictment read, the complainant sustains serious bruises, bleeding under the skin and grazes on her face and neck, as well as various bruises on her palms, waist and thighs. The man who came to her aid was also seriously bruised.
In the petition to keep the defendant remanded until the end of proceedings, the prosecution claimed, "The picture painted by the extreme character of Efrati's behavior is one of pronounced dangerous and unrestrained behavior. It seems that when the respondent's urges are aroused or when he sets his sights on a certain purpose, there is no hurdle that can stand in his way despite the risks he faces."
Efrati's attorney, Keren Nahari, requested he undergo a psychiatric evaluation, since he was "out of his senses" at the time of the offence and he could not differentiate between right and wrong. The judge accepted the request.
The prosecutor, Attorney Vered Anoch of the Tel Aviv District Prosecution, said at the hearing, "The charges may be of attempted rape and attempted sodomy, but the prosecution feels that these offenses are as dangerous as if he had actually committed sodomy against the young woman."
She said the prosecution believes the defendant was "fully sane" at the time of the incident.
Last week, the suspicion of sodomy against Efrati was changed to attempted sodomy after the investigation revealed new evidence.
Once Efrati's details were made public, the complainant's lawyers, Hedva Baum told Ynet of the difficult state the situation left her client and her family in, and of the expectations that Efrati would confess to the charges against him.
"The whole matter of the expected sentence occupies them. They are concerned that the matter may drag out for a long time and wonder how many more court rooms they will have to take their tragedy to," she said.
Baum added, "The young woman's mother cannot take it, she does not want to hear or see. Some of her sisters have also decided not to follow the case. It is too difficult for them."
Baum said that the complainant's condition has been improving in recent days, but stressed that the latter had said, "I will only be able to stat a new life once he is sentenced."