Haim Atar. 'Deep regret'
Photo: Yaron Brener
Pedhophile in older picture. From 65 cases down to three

Pedophile Haim Atar convicted of 3 acts of sodomy

Atar first indicted for nine cases of assault against minors, but as reported by Ynet, police accidentally deleted significant part of discriminating evidence

The Tel Aviv District Court on Tuesday convicted pedophile Haim Atar of sexual assault against three 14-year-old boys, following his confession, as part of a plea bargain with the State Prosecutor's office.


Atar was first indicted for nine cases of sodomy and indecent assault, but as reported by Ynet on Monday, the police accidentally deleted a significant part of the discriminating evidence.


The court adopted the plea deal and sent Atar to a Probation Service review to determine the level of his sexual dangerousness. According to the agreement, Atar will serve five years in jail.


His lawyer, Chai Haber, said that his client "deeply regrets his acts, understands the mistake he made and plans to rehabilitate his life."


Atar was arrested in February 2009 as a suspect in the case of a boy who was raped from an online dating site. Atar was convicted of nine counts of sodomy and lewd acts on children below the age of 14 and of sodomizing boys under the age of 16. The court cleared his name for publication at the behest of Ynet and the police.

The police first tagged him with carrying on sexual relations with 65 boys.


According to the updated charges, Atar was indicted of meeting a 14-year-old boy in January 2001 and regularly having consensual sexual relations with him in Atar's apartment. Five years later in 2006, Atar contacted another 14-year-old boy and had consensual sexual relations with him as well.


Between September 2004 and April 2005, Atar became acquainted with another 14-year-old boy through an online dating website. After a number of correspondences, Atar picked the boy up from his home and took him back to his apartment where, according to the indictment, he had consensual sex with the boy. In each of these cases, Atar was indicted with acts of sodomy.


Technical difficulties

The main reason a plea bargain was struck between the prosecution and Atar's legal counsel was that a police investigator accidentally erased important evidence off of Atar's hard drive that was seized following his arrest.


All of Atar's correspondences with the boys with whom he had sexual relations were saved on the hard drive along with pornographic pictures Atar had on his home computer.


Investigator Ronen Nizri wrote in a report of the deletion that he received Atar's hard drive in order to copy it onto a police hard drive. However, when the transfer process started, defects were discovered on the police drive and the process got "stuck."


Further attempts to copy the hard drive to alternate devices also failed. Apparently, a mistake was made while trying to fix this problem and the material on Atar's hard drive was erased and replaced by the data on the police drive instead of vice versa.


Both the prosecution and the defense declined to comment on the case.


פרסום ראשון: 10.20.09, 10:34
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