Kiryat Malachi Mayor Moti Malka has had his remand extended for eight days on Wednesday after being arrested on suspicion of committing a series of sexual crimes against a female employee of the municipality.
Malka is accused of raping, sexually harassing and sodomizing the woman. He is also suspected of extorting a city council member who accepted bribes from a contractor who provides services for the municipality.
Another seven suspects, including the mayor's son, have also been arrested in connection with the charges.
During Wednesday's court hearing, a police representative said Malka also extorted sex from a single mother in exchange for a discount on the woman's city taxes and accepted bribes from a contractor, who allowed the mayor to use one of his apartments for his sexual encounters.
A gag order on the investigation was lifted Wednesday morning.
Police suspect the mayor and a number of other senior city officials sexually abused the employee over a prolonged period of time and even filmed some of the acts for extortion purposes.
According to police, the employee was forced to have sexual intercourse with the mayor and another top city official.
According to suspicions, the acts were committed in the home of one of the officials, who apparently had a hidden camera installed to film the encounters use the footage to extort another official and the victim herself.
Earlier, the city officials in Kiryat Malachi were arrested on suspicion of rape, extortion and intimidation, bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
The investigation, which was covert prior to the arrests, is headed by the police Financial Fraud Unit Commander Maj.-Gen. Alon Grossman.
The investigation began after the police were tipped off regarding financial improprieties and sexual harassment in city hall.
The investigation also revealed that they were embroiled in a bribery scheme involving fixed municipal bids.
Initially, the woman refused to file a police complaint, fearing she would be subjected to even more abuse.