Lawyer representing 7 year-old Jewish rape victim defends integrity of case

The lawyer representing the 7 year-old victim claiming rape answers questions throwing the case into doubt.

By World Israel News Staff

The lawyer for the 7-year-old Jewish girl, who claims a Palestinian raped her, spoke of some of the difficulties with the case on Israeli radio on Sunday.

The case, which made headlines last week, has been plagued by conflicting information.

According to the police report, the child was definitely sexually abused. However, due to the family’s delay in contacting the police for a week and the police neglecting to send the girl’s clothing to a forensic lab, there does not appear to be DNA proof of the attacker.

Forty-six year old suspect, Mahmoud Katusa, has been indicted on charges of kidnapping and rape. Katusa was a janitor at the school where the girl studied. According to the police, he was friendly to her and gave her sweets.

Additionally, the report says that two Arab workers helped to perpetuate the crime by holding the young girl down during the violent act. These suspects have yet to be found.

One issue plaguing the case is that the girl was apparently dragged through her ultra-Orthodox neighborhood in Samaria. Generally, streets in these areas are crowded with people.

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The question being asked is how is it possible that no one stopped him if she was resisting the whole way as the report states.

Fried explained, “The school is in a mountainous area and we’re not talking about packed streets. The girl walked in unmarked paths and there, it seems, she was ambushed and kidnapped.”

There are claims that Katusa passed a polygraph test. However, Fried clarified that he only passed the standard beginning questions, such as his age, where he lives and his hobbies. Regarding questions relevant to the case, he was found to be lying.

More so, though Katusa has an alibi, the woman providing it “had a relationship of employment with him,” said Fried.

The attorney defended his client’s integrity by noting, “The girl provided testimony in four different interrogations, and she provided absolute identification of the guilty party,” he said. “This is a person who is familiar to her from school…She also gave exact details about the apartment, about the vase of flowers, and everything matches the scene.”

Fried added, “The girl told her version, and in my entire life I’ve never seen children lying in an interrogation. She has no motive for lying. She described things exactly as she saw them.”

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Oversights have also complicated the investigation. Despite the fact that the pediatrician, who examined the child, did not report the crime to authorities or send her to the emergency room, the doctor did write the rape in her report.

Noting that there are never interrogations without question marks, Fried said, “Last Thursday we… met the chief military prosecutor, the prosecutor for Judea and Samaria, and the lawyer from the military prosecution who is handling the case. They stand firmly behind the case and say that all of the complications which are only now being publicized are things they do before. They submitted the indictment, and they believe in it.”

Police reporter Moshe Nussbaum concurred with this finding. He said that gathering information in this case is “a complex and sensitive operation.”

These complications, as well as the fact that the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency, and the police department were not properly notified that the investigation was taking place, has lead the case to be handed over to Maj.-Gen. Gadi Siso, head of Israel’s police investigation unit.