After a lengthy undercover investigation, police in Tel Aviv busted a long-running teenage prostitution ring, it was revealed on Monday.
Police raided the homes of 10 suspected clients and arrested a woman who allegedly ran the ring, which targeted 14-16-year-old girls to draw them into the world of sex work.
“This isn’t a case involving one or two girls — there are dozens of them. It’s unbelievable,” a source from within the police department was quoted by Ynet as saying.
The clients ranged in age from 20-60, police said, and did not have prior criminal records.
The teenage girls were seemingly unaware of the legal implications of their activities but “knew what they were doing” and had consented to provide sex for money, police said.
The girls will be assigned social workers who will aid in their rehabilitation, and the clients are to be charged with statutory rape, as they were aware they were having sexual relations with minors.
The ring was active “for years,” police said. A gag order on the investigation was only lifted Monday after key arrests were made.