A group of 12- and 13-year-old boys in central Israel are suspected of repeatedly raping an 11-year-old girl several months ago.
The rape was filmed by the four boys and distributed among their friends, according to Channel 13 news.
The victim was reportedly invited to a social gathering in an abandoned building about three months ago. There, the four suspects violated her repeatedly with a knife to her throat, while filming their actions.
The suspects’ alleged sexual abuse of the girl is reported to have spanned several days, with the boys threatening to publicize the video of her if she did not cooperate or if she told anyone of their actions.
According to Hebrew media reports, the suspects were questioned by police but released due to their age, and since returned to school. The girl, meanwhile, is being treated at a mental health institute and has been diagnosed as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and at high risk.
The victim’s parents said Tuesday that they found out about their daughter’s ordeal after the video began circulating and reached them.
“She was threatened and was afraid to tell,” the girl’s father told Army Radio. “She feels guilty and she’s being made to feel that way. We’re trying to support her, but her condition is very bad. She cries…she can’t understand why [the boys] have been released but she’s been shut away far from home.”
The father also said the family had been forced into hiding after the brother of one of the suspects threatened them over their comments on the matter. The man was placed under house arrest.
The girl had been set to celebrate her bat mitzvah before the affair came to light. The family’s lawyer Hillel Babayev told Army Radio: “Instead of celebrating her bat mitzvah she’s spending her time with psychiatrists and psychologists.”
Meanwhile, the father of one of the suspects told Channel 13 the acts were committed at “the girl’s wishes” and said he was “sorry for the girl, I don’t know what kind of education she received.”
He also called the video’s distribution by the children “kids’ mischief.”
The police have said the case is currently under review by prosecutors.