A week before the alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl in Eilat last month, one of the four main suspects in the case appeared in Hadera Magistrate's Court to face charges including disorderly conduct, making threats and harassing a police officer on duty.
Issy Rafailov, 27, was indicted in the rape of the teen in the Red Sea Hotel, along with 27-year-old Ilizir Meirov and 17-year-old twins. According to the indictment, Rafailov knew his alleged victim was 16 years old when he raped her.
On April 15, 2019, Rafailov was charged with disorderly conduct and harassing an on-duty police officer over an incident that occurred in September 2018 in Hadera. He appeared in court on August 5.
According to the indictment, Rafailov boarded a bus in the city with a bottle of beer in his hand. The driver told Rafailov that he could not embark with the bottle, but Rafailov simply ignored him and got on without paying.
Rafailov then allegedly turned to one of the bus' female passengers, hurling abuse at her and calling her a "whore."
Rafailov also allegedly asked the driver if he would be willing to abandon the bus in return for NIS 200. The driver refused, and in response Rafailov allegedlly took a hammer and smashed one of the bus windows.
When two police officers arrived to arrest Rafailov, he allegedly threatened one of them, saying: "Don't worry, you have a family, you have a wife and kids."
While being arrested, Rafailov allegedly blew kisses at the female police officer at the scene, telling her: "I want to bite you, I want to rape you."
In court last month, Rafailov's attorney said his client had been severely intoxicated during the incident and admitted only to public misconduct.
"The defendant was very drunk," said the attorney. "He got on the bus, and only partly remembers what had happened. He admits that he was drunk, he claims that he did not threaten the policeman and does not remember that he took the hammer and smashed the window, nor did he blow kisses or harass the policewoman."
Rafailov's attorney added: "We say that this is a defendant who was so drunk that the offenses of theft, threats and interfering with a police officer cannot be attributed to him. For these are offenses requiring a mental capacity for intent."
On March 9, 2018, Rafailov also appeared in Hadera Magistrate's Court to face charges of making threats, assault, insulting a public employee and rioting in a public place.
According to those charges, Rafailov arrived at the city's Hillel Yaffe Hospital for medical treatment in February 2018. At a certain stage, Rafailov allegedly decided he was not satisfied with the treatment he received, threatened a doctor and caused a commotion in the emergency room.
He was also accused of threatening a restaurant owner who refused to sell him beer a few days prior to the allegedly incident at the hospital and of insulting the police officer who was called to the scene.
As part of a plea deal, Judge Rakefet Segal-Mohar sentenced Rafailov to eight months in jail and offered him the option of treatment for addiction. Rafailov refused.
"During the incident itself I was drunk, I actually took responsibility in conversations with my probation officer," Rafailov said at his hearing. "She sent me to get treatment, to which I agreed. I no longer drink, just occasionally at events."