Six suspected pedophiles, including two teachers and two Israel Defense Forces soldiers, were arrested on suspicion of engaging in online sexual abuse, police announced Thursday.
The suspects, aged 19-49, were caught by undercover cops who were posing on the internet as 11- and 12 year-old girls. The men allegedly sent videos of themselves undressing and touching themselves sexually. They also sent explicit photographs and messages and encouraged the officers posing as young girls to send them pictures or have video conversations.
The suspects — who were not named by police — are a 29-year-old man from Ma’ale Adumim, a 36-year-old from Jerusalem, a 20-year-old from Afula, a 19-year-old from Bat Yam, a 37-year-old from Hadera and a 49-year-old from Givatayim.
According to evidence presented to the court, one of the suspects allegedly wrote to one of the detectives, who had told him she was a minor, “Have you ever seen a man’s penis? I’ll send you mine if you want.” He later wrote, “I want to help you overcome your embarrassment.”
Under Israeli law, persuading a minor to carry out a sex act via the internet can be considered rape or molestation even if there was no physical meeting.
On Wednesday, the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court extended their remand.
Earlier this month a youth sports coach was arrested on suspicion of molesting dozens of underage girls via the internet by persuading them to send him indecent photographs of themselves, including some which allegedly involved acts considered rape. Beno Reinhorn, 35, a father of two from Herzliya, is suspected of contacting at least 140 girls for the purposes of molestation.