After a year and a half in custody, Mohammed Fadoul, who was accused of severe sexual assault of a high school senior during her graduation party, was acquitted of all charges on Tuesday.
Three months ago, the prosecution withdrew the rape
charges against Fadoul, a Sudanese
national, and accused him of aggravated sexual assault, yet the Jerusalem
District Court judges ruled that the evidence was insufficient to prove Fadoul committed any offense in the event.
According to the indictment, the attack took place at a villa in Jerusalem that was occasionally rented out for private parties. Fadoul worked there in cleaning and resided in a housing unit within the complex.
Mohammed Fadoul in court (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
On April 29, 2012, the students celebrated their graduation ceremony at a school prom and then headed to a private party at the villa. According to the prosecution, the victim arrived under the influence of alcohol to Fadoul's room, lay beside him, and was then attacked by him.
About an hour later, around 4 am, the girl's friends noticed she was gone and went searching for her around the villa. They found her sleeping on the sofa at the housing unit, with Fadoul and another person present in the room.
"The feeling to go free after a year and a half is very good. I had a hard time in prison," Fadoul said. "I had a hard time in prison. I was lonely and no one visited me."
"I am a victim here. If there is justice, I would be compensated," he told Ynet. "I don't know if I was accused because I was Sudanese. I missed my family, but I don't know what I'll do next. I haven’t decided yet. I hope to return home one day, but we'll see."
The judges noted that the plaintiff's version was credible, but decided to nonetheless acquit Fadoul since she did not remember many things of the night in question.
"From the start we thought this was an unusual case in which the plaintiff was the one who initiated the act," said Fadoul's attorney Muhammad Anabassa with the Public Defender's
Anabassa added that his client intends to sue the State for false incarceration.
Fadoul's family members claimed at court that the indictment was filed for no reason.
"He is innocent, they just arrested him and accused him, we don't think there's anything against Sudanese (citizens), but the fact he isn't Israeli
and not Jewish makes it easier to blame him. From the beginning we claimed he is a good man who has never done anything bad, it is now unclear who would pay him for almost two years without work," they said after the ruling.
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