Main suspects in alleged Eilat gang rape named; 2 have criminal records

Eliezer Maierov, 27, and Isi Raphaelov, 28, are charged with rape; Osher Shlomo, 19, charged with aiding and abetting

Eilat's Red Sea Hotel, where an alleged gang rape took place in mid-August 2020. (Channel 12 screenshot)
Eilat's Red Sea Hotel, where an alleged gang rape took place in mid-August 2020. (Channel 12 screenshot)

The identities of the main suspects in the alleged gang rape of a teenage girl in Eilat last month were revealed Wednesday, as police continue to investigate the incident that has shaken Israel.

Two of the suspects charged with rape — named as Ilizir Meirov, 27, and Isi Raphaelov, 28, both residents of the central city of Hadera —  have criminal records and have both served time in prison, according to Hebrew language media.

Two further suspects were reported to be minors and their identities were therefore barred from publication.

Raphaelov has served two prison sentences and is currently serving a suspended sentence, Channel 12 news reported, without elaborating.

Osher Shlomo. (Facebook)

Additionally, Osher Shlomo, 19, was charged with aiding and abetting a rape.

A total of 11 suspects were charged Wednesday morning with a series of sexual assault crimes. Four were charged with rape, while eight others were charged with other crimes including committing an indecent act, abetting a rape, conspiracy to commit a crime and failing to assist the 16-year-old alleged victim.

According to the indictment, Raphaelov and Meirov broke into a room at the Red Sea Hotel and brought the girl there while she was drunk, with Raphaelov claiming he was a medic and offering to help her.

“The defendants treated the plaintiff as an object, as a tool to satisfy their desires and none of the defendants tried to stop what was happening and provide any sort of help,” a statement from prosecutors said.

Ilizir Meirov (Social media)

“Afterward, the defendants, for an hour, one after another, brutally committed sexual offenses against the girl, while losing their humanity and demonstrated disregard for her distress, until the girl was taken out of the room by another defendant at the request of her friend,” the indictment said.

Prosecutors are expected to file further indictments against other suspects in the case, Hebrew media reported.

At least 16 people are suspected of being involved in the incident, after an initial investigation indicated that as many as 30 men had lined up outside the hotel room to wait their turn to rape the 16-year-old, while eyewitnesses failed to intervene.

Isi Raphaelov. (Social media)

The manager of the Red Sea Hotel, where the incident happened and who was arrested during an initial investigation and then later released, was not charged. Channel 13 reported that police have determined that she had not been aware of what was going on.

The Kan public broadcaster reported that investigators have determined that the alibi given by a main suspect was found to be untrue, including evidence contradicting his claim that he did not have intercourse with the girl. It was the main suspect who also initially told police that 30 men were involved in the assault, Kan said.

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