Dutch court clears way for extradition of Israeli modeling agent accused of sex crimes

Disgraced modeling agent who fled to the Netherlands will be extradited to Israel to stand trial for sexual assault charges, following Dutch court ruling.

By World Israel News Staff

An Israeli modeling agent accused of multiple cases of sexual assault is slated to be extradited to Israel after a Dutch court ruled in favor of a request filed by the Israeli State Attorney’s Office in September.

The suspect, Shai Avital, was arrested in Amsterdam in August, more than a year after Israeli authorities issued a warrant for his arrest in July 2021.

Avital, a dual citizen of Israel and Portugal – a European Union member state – has been accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment and indecent acts by 26 women. Of Avital’s 26 accusers, three claim he raped them.

Israel’s State Attorney’s Office cited just two of Avital’s accusers, however, in their extradition request, though prosecutors say they have strong evidence against Avital in a total of seven cases.

Prior to the accusations, Avital represented some of Israel’s most prominent models.

Last year, model and fashion designer Netan Alchemister, one of the top models at Avital’s firm, announced that she had cut all ties with Avital and his company.

According to a report by Ha’aretz, Israeli authorities tracked Avital’s movements after his departure from Israel and were aware of his location in Europe, but they delayed issuing an arrest request until Avital entered a country with fewer obstacles to extradition.

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Israeli police have come under fire for their initial handling of the case. A model who attempted to file a criminal complaint against Avital claimed she was turned away from a Tel Aviv police station.

The model, Gal Gvaram, later took to social media to share the story with her followers, leading to an investigative report, which in turn prompted police to launch a criminal investigation.