Modeling agent accused of assaulting women freed to house arrest

Shai Avital, a modeling agent arrested in The Netherlands and extradited to Israel last year to face sexual assault accusations has been released to house arrest.

Avital will wear an electronic monitor and be confined to his Ashkelon home, a judge rules, rejecting a police request to keep him in custody. He is also ordered to post NIS 1.35 million ($380,000) bail.

Avital, who denies any wrongdoing, left Israel in 2021, shortly before media reports about a slew of accusations began to surface against him. After refusing to show up for court for over a year, he was captured in Amsterdam last year and brought to Israel after dropping his objections to extradition.

He faces charges stemming from complaints from two women who say he forced himself onto them while running the Elite Modeling Agency, including one who was a minor at the time.

No charges have been filed related to complaints from 24 other women who claim Avital harassed or assaulted them.

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