Modeling agent who fled sexual assault complaints released to house arrest

A modeling agent accused of sexual assault will be released to house arrest as he awaits trial, a judge rules.

Shai Avital, who is facing a slew of sexual harassment and assault complaints from women who worked with him going back years, was extradited to Israel earlier this month after being captured in Amsterdam in August after over a year on the run abroad. He was charged last week over complaints from two of his alleged victims.

Israeli modeling agent Shai Avital (right) poses with models, during an event on a rooftop in Tel Aviv, on September 17, 2017. (Avshalom Sassoni/ Flash90/ File)

The prosecution had sought to keep him behind bars and is seeking a stay on the order to free Avital, who will wear an ankle monitor during his house arrest.

Attorney Ben Maoz, representing some of those who have complained about the agent, previously told Ynet that “Avital is a person who should not be trusted, and he should remain detained until the end of the proceedings against him.”

Avital’s lawyers tell Channel 12 news that they are happy with the decision to free him.

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