Cleared for publication: Two Eritrean citizens were arrested on suspicion of raping a 15-year-old girl in south Tel Aviv on Independence Day. A third suspect allegedly held the girl's boyfriend as she was being raped. The couple was also robbed of money and jewelry.
Police initially labeled the case of an attempted rape but later changed its estimate to rape. Having completed a wide-scale investigation, Tel Aviv police traced three foreigners, one aged 24, and two aged 18, who reside in the Central Bus Station area. They are now facing criminal charges.
One of the suspects in court (Photo: Moti Kimhi)
The three were arrested more than a week ago, but a gag order prevented the publication of the details of the case. Police used the time to gather enough evidence for an indictment against the suspects. The Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court lifted the gag order on Thursday.
The investigation suggests that the couple had left a club in south Tel Aviv at around 4:30 am after Independence Day celebrations when they were assaulted by the suspects. Two of the suspects raped the girl while the third held her boyfriend back.
Police claim they have strong evidence against the three, one of whom confessed to the crime and recreated the assault. "We questioned dozens of people in this case, we have more than enough evidence for an indictment."
The event joins of long line of sexual assaults involving African citizens. The recent wave of violence has prompted residents of southern Tel Aviv to protest the State's failure to round up the refugees.
Earlier this week, four Africans were arrested on suspicion they raped a 19-year-old girl in a parking lot in southern Tel Aviv. On Wednesday, a Sudanese citizens was charged with rape and robbery.
On Thursday, an indictment was filed against a Tel Aviv resident for hurling Molotov cocktails at houses of asylum seekers.