9 teens arrested for gang-raping 16-year-old girl in hotel room, manager detained as suspect count rises to 11
At least nine teenagers were arrested in a gang-rape case after a 16-year-old girl claimed that she was sexually assaulted by dozens of men. Authorities in southern Israel, so far, have arrested eleven people in connection with the case. Out of the suspects two 27-year-old men, believed to be the main suspects, were arrested last week, while nine minors, all believed to be 17, were arrested over the weekend.
The survivor claimed that she was attacked on August 12 in a room at the Red Sea Hotel after she went there for drinks with her friends. According to witnesses, the teen was assaulted by up to 30 men at the hotel. Police, in a recent statement, said that the girl's account is credible as the evidence supports her claims. A CCTV footage of the hotel allegedly showed men queuing down a corridor leading to the room where the alleged assault occurred.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also commented on the heinous crime last week and condemned the attack, calling it a "crime against humanity."
Authorities have said that it is unlikely that the number of assailants was 30, however, they believe that the suspects could be in double digits, according to Haaretz. Police have also arrested the hotel manager in the case, charging her with obstructing their investigation and failing to prevent a crime.
The survivor is believed to be in an unstable mental condition, however, she is cooperating with police and is willing to face her alleged attackers in court. The girl has reportedly been provided police protection after her personal information was leaked online. She was given protection amid fears that her alleged assaulters may attempt to intimidate her. Police last week revealed that the 16-year-old was not a guest at the hotel, but had gone to the establishment to drink with her friends. She was later taken to a room in a "dazed" state and sexually assaulted, reports state.
A guest at the hotel, who arrived around midnight on the day of the alleged attack, said that he saw people smoking and driving across the hotel, violating rules. The management, however, did not put an end to this behavior. He also added that he saw a large number of young people gathered in the hallway outside his room. The guest reportedly told the manager about his but no action was taken.
"I have no idea if they were the ones the police are looking for, but a large group of people had gathered there and were making a lot of noise," the guest said. "There were crazy levels of music and alcohol. The lifeguard himself brought out a food container, filled it with ice so the young folks had somewhere to put their alcohol bottles. They simply opened a bar at the pool. I approached the hotel manager to tell her that it was over the top... Her response was: "If you have a problem, you can complain to the municipal inspectors. I don't check what they're doing."'