The incident was cleared for publication on Monday afternoon. Nissim Pines Zada was arrested on suspicion of raping the 12-year-old girl, who has Down's syndrome, and trying to rape another girl.
About 10 days ago, a Jerusalem resident left his house with her daughter in the early morning hours. When they arrived at the Kahal Hadisim synagogue in the city center, the father left the girl alone and went in to pray.
Aroma on Hillel Street (Archive photo: Noam Moskowitz)
According to suspicions, the young man grabbed the girl into a passage between several stores and began raping and sodomizing her. He was disrupted by two cleaners passing by. Undeterred, the man dragged the girl into the bathroom of a nearby café, locked the door and continued raping her.
Suspect: I'm mentally illThe coffee shop's clients tried to open the door, but were unsuccessful and the attacker managed to escape. Police forces arrived at the café only 40 minutes later and began searching for the suspect.
A special investigation team reviewed the footage from the café's surveillance cameras and the nearby area and was able to come up with an image of the suspect, which was distributed to all police stations in Israel.
But the man was only arrested several days later, after resident called the police and reported seeing a man trying to molest a girl on the street.
A police force dispatched to the area arrested the young man, who was later identified as the person who raped the girl at the Aroma café. He was caught wearing the same clothes he wore during the first rape.
He denied the allegations, but the investigators are looking into suspicions that he committed additional acts of sexual harassment and indecent assault.
The suspect refused to take part in a police line-up, claiming that his clothes were immodest. The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Monday extended his remand by five days. He was handcuffed and kept mumbling to the cameras, "I am mentally ill."
He is suspected of assaulting a minor, committing sodomy and taking advantage of a mental illness.
Chief Inspector Yedidia, head of the investigation team, said that the suspect "committed extremely serious offenses on a disabled 12-year-old girl. These are shocking acts, and this is definitely the most serious incident I have ever encountered. We have clear evidence linking him to the incident."
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