The Jerusalem District Court gave a nearly unprecedented punishment to a father who raped his stepdaughter hundreds of times over a period of seven years, beginning when she was six. The man was sentenced to 28 years in prison after he was convicted of hundreds of counts of rape, sodomy, indecent assault, sex crimes and additional sex charges.
The verdict showed that the girl first complained about her step father’s assaults at the age six, and was questioned by a children’s investigator. The father continued his actions from 2005 until his indictment, in October 2012.
The father moved in with the girl's mother in 2005. From 2005 to 2008, while the mother was out of the house, he committed dozens of sexual offenses against the girl, with a frequency of once per week. In 2008 the intensity increased, and the father began to sodomize his daughter. Over the years, the girl was sent to boarding school, but the father continued to sexually assault her when she came for vacations. Only during the 2011 police investigation was the affair revealed.
Over the years, the girl tried several times to let people know what she was going through, but no one helped her. She complained when the incidents began at the age of six, and was questioned by a children’s investigator – but this did not lead to change, and as described in the verdict, the acts only intensified. It was also noted that the girl suffers from mental health problems following the sexual assaults.
District Court judges in Jerusalem, Justices Yaakov Zaban, Rafi Carmel and Rivka Friedman-Feldman who imposed the penalty, noted that the defendant committed serious offenses that harm the body and mind of minors.
They also noted that the defendant had committed hundreds of offenses and the circumstances of the case carried exceptional severity, even in relation to other cases of sexual abuse, "These are the actions of a father towards his young daughter; even if he was the stepfather, he was the only father whom she knew. The father was supposed to protect the victim, but he used her to satisfy his sexual needs using mental distortions to justify his actions."
The court ruling stated that the acts only got worse over the years, and that the father's actions continued even when welfare authorities tried to intervene and suspected what was happening. "These actions will leave their mark on the girl forever. For each of the hundreds of counts of rape, for each of the many counts of sodomy, the defendant should be punished." During the trial, the father expressed remorse and said he saw the deeds as a “romance” which the two shared.
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