Academic nabbed for indecent exposure

Release to house arrest delayed for physics professor who confessed to history of sexual misconduct

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative. A person in handcuffs. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Illustrative. A person in handcuffs. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

A senior professor of physics apprehended for allegedly exposing himself to two young girls, and who admitted to multiple offenses, was initially ordered released to a week of house arrest because of his academic standing, but the judge then delayed his release to allow police to appeal.

Judge Merav Greenberg of the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s court on Thursday also ordered that the man’s name not be publicized for the same reason, Ynet reported. Police intended to appeal that decision too, saying the suspect had confessed to committing the same crime many times in the past.

“From his investigation and confession there is a suspicion that he is a serial sex offender,” police told Ynet. “At least at this stage he should be under arrest just like every other serial sex offender, without any connection to the suspect’s status.”

According to the report, the man was initially arrested Wednesday after exposing himself and performing an indecent act in front of two girls in the Fajja neighborhood of Petah Tikva. As the girls escaped they ran into a Border Police officer who immediately called for back up. After a short chase the man was apprehended by police and taken in for questioning.

The suspect confessed to the crime but also told police that he suffered from a sexual misconduct problem for which he had received treatment in the past. The man, who lives in an upscale community in the Sharon region, admitted that he had exposed himself on many occasions to other girls in towns across the country.

Police began searching for other victims and Greenberg agreed to delay the man’s release to house arrest until the petition to keep him in full custody has been served.

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