The Lod District Court on Thursday handed down a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence to an 18-year-old man found guilty of torching the home of a local daycare manager who allegedly physically abused young children in her care.
As part of a plea arrangement, Adir Ratzon will also have to pay NIS 50,000 ($14,586) in damages to the family of Carmel Mauda, who has been charged with 18 counts of child abuse of nearly a dozen toddlers and infants who were under her care.
Graphic security camera footage released last year showed Mauda tying up children, force-feeding them, using blankets to smother those who didn’t fall asleep and physically abusing them.
Speaking to reporters after Thursday’s sentencing, Ratzon’s mother, Limor, said she stood by her son, but accepted the sentence. “We have no connection to Carmel’s family, we had no children at her daycare, so I have no idea why he did it,” she said.
בית המשפט המחוזי בלוד גזר 3.5 שנות מאסר על אדיר רצון, שהצית ביולי 2019 את הפעוטון של כרמל מעודה, במסגרת הסדר טיעון. הוא גם ישלם גם פיצוי של 50,000 שקל למשפחת מעודה pic.twitter.com/x8W221sx2k
— Ben Netzer בן נצר (@netzer_ben) July 16, 2020
According to the indictment against Ratzon, he arrived at the building in which the Baby Love daycare operated on the third floor at 5:45 a.m. while Mauda’s family members were sleeping on two lower floors.
Ratzon set fire to an unidentified object that he tossed into the building from the courtyard. He then waited to make sure that the site had caught fire before fleeing the scene, according to the rap sheet.
The indictment mentioned that Ratzon’s friend’s daughter had been enrolled in the daycare.
No injuries were reported in the July 6 fire, but the blaze destroyed most of Mauda’s apartment building, as well as the Baby Love center on the roof, where she had been filmed abusing nearly a dozen children as young as three months old.