A juvenile court on Wednesday extended by seven days the house arrest of nine minors accused of raping a 13-year-old girl in Tel Aviv.
Police had initially requested that the court remand them for 15 days while the investigation continued.
The lawyer of one of the suspects said he was baffled by the court’s decision.
“I don’t understand why [the court] decided to extend the house arrest,” Eyal Shmulivitz said. “I think it could have been possible to let the suspects get on with their lives.”
Police arrested the suspects Tuesday morning after conducting an investigation that revealed the suspects had engaged in sexual relations with the victim several times in different locations over the past months, during which police suspect that they also sexually assaulted her.
Several parents and attorneys of the boys expressed outrage Tuesday.
“All the boys’ accounts are the same; there was agreement that she initiated,” one of the father’s said. “My boy is normal, he has never done anything like this in his life. He doesn’t understand what they want from him. There was no gang rape; they aren’t a closely knit group; she came to them.”
“It is unfortunate that the police chose to arrest first and investigate later,” Dorit Gitterman, one of the lawyers, said. “Coming in the morning and taking a kid out of his bed? [Police] are making a mountain out of a molehill.”
One lawyer said that her client did not deny that the sexual encounters occurred, but insisted that they were consensual.
“He doesn’t deny involvement, but there is a big difference between illegal sexual acts and the sexual relations in this case, which the complainant initiated.”