Prosecutors filed an indictment Sunday against a 17-year-old suspected of raping a 10-year-old girl during the burglary of a family home in the southern Negev region.
The alleged assault earlier this month sparked protests in the south from residents, who are demanding the government do more to curb a wave of crime in the region that they largely blame on armed Bedouin gangs.
The suspect, along with another, aged 16, entered the home in a community of the Ramat Hanegev Regional Council late at night as the family slept, according to the indictment presented to the Beersheba District Youth Court. A third suspect, 21, waited outside in a car.
The two minors, from the Bedouin community of Neve Midbar, searched for valuables and entered a bedroom that the girl shared with her younger brothers. Prosecutors say the suspect got into bed with the girl and began kissing and licking her face. When she protested he sexually assaulted her. The girl cried out for her father and the two burglars ran away as the girl’s father chased them outside. The men then escaped in the waiting vehicle.
Prosecutors asked that the suspect be held till the end of proceedings and noted that all three are also facing indictments for a string of break-ins in the south.
Last Friday hundreds of residents of the Negev demonstrated demanding that the government restore security to the region. Among those who participated in the protests were local Bedouin who demonstrated against crime committed by community members and in particular the assault on the young girl.