חשיפה: שני הכדורגלנים החשודים בביצוע עבירות מין בקטינות הם דור מיכה ועומר אצילי
Two Israeli soccer stars playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel’s top Premier League team, stand accused of raping teenage girls. There is a gag order imposed in Israel on naming the players. Their names are Dor Micha (English Wiki) age 28 and Omer Atzili age 27. The team has suspended them pending the outcome of the investigation. They have not played for the team in any matches since the charges were first made public.
The accused claim that they made the victims show them their IDs to prove they were 16 or older. The girls claim no onee ever asked for their IDs. The attacks took place at the home of a third Premier League player and police are investigating whether other players were involved as well.
As football (as the sport is known outside the U.S.) is Israel’s most popular sport, fans have reacted harshly to the charges and leveled invective at the victims. This seems standard behavior for Israeli men who resent their predatory behavior being called out publicly.
Those defending the players claim the women texted the players saying they were 17 years old. This may be a mitigating factor, but it isn’t much of a defense since the perpetrators acknowledged the act happened and the women were minors regardless of what they may have claimed.
One of the victims responded:
“They’re lying. We never said we’re 18 and we weren’t asked our ages,” she told Channel 12 news. “The soccer players knew we were high school students.”
She added, “I’m really hurt. I understand I was taken advantage of.”
This scandal echoes a similar incident in which an Israeli semi-pro footballer who played on the Beitar Jerusalem practice squad was also accused of the gang rape of the British teenage girl on Cyprus. The authorities there botched the investigation and eventually leveled charges against the victim. None of the Israeli men who participated in or were accessories to the alleged rape were charged either in Cyprus or Israel.
In 2018, another Beitar Jerusalem player, Antony Varenne, was discovered to have enaged in sex acts with an unconscious woman while taunting her. Despite a video documenting the behavior the Israeli league authorities and team itself refused to discipline the player. Instead of apologizing to the victim or promising to examine the attitudes which led to his heinous behavior, his only response was:
…He was “embarrassed and sorry. I made a mistake.”
He told Mako News, the Israeli sports website, that he would “have to live with the shame all my life.”
In an earlier incident in 2009, two Israeli players for HaPoel Tel Aviv, were accused of raping Swedish prostitutes they hired after playing a match in Sweden.
Clearly, there is a long history of male privilege and acceptance of predatory behavior among powerful Israeli men in the fields of sports, academia, entertainment, the military, and politics. I’ve documented scores of such cases here over the years.
You are mistaken. The players are being investigated for suspected consensual intercourse with a minor under the age of consent, known in the US as statutory rape. Under Israeli law, a belief that the minor is of the age of consent (16) is a defense to statutory rape. Based on the evidence published in the media, the players likely committed no crime (but that does not mean they are not disgusting individuals).
Richard Silverstein says
@ Rex: On what basis can a suspect say he “believed” she was 16? She looked 16? That’s enough? Really? That seems an awfully flimsy Reed.
@ Richard Silverstein: Good question. It would be the prosecution’s burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the players either knew the girls were under 16 or suspected as much but turned a blind eye.
What facts will be sufficient for the prosecution to prove that element will vary according to the circumstances. For instance, if a person meets a girl who looks like she’s 18 at a club, and he consistently claims it never crossed his mind that she could be 15, the prosecution would have a very hard time proving his guilt (and probably wouldn’t even indict him).
In this case, we know for a fact that the girls told the players they were 17, and we know that when the players texted each other about the girls, they discussed them being just shy of 18. Assuming the girls were not so young looking that they couldn’t possibly pass as 16 year olds, the prosecution would have a very hard time proving this case in court. And so, I doubt the players will even be indicted. Of course, I do not know all of the evidence, and my analysis is based solely on what has been made public.
Richard Silverstein says
@ Rex: We don’t “know for a fact” the women told them they were 17. In fact, one of them said the boys never asked their age nor asked for their ID. What the accused said or texted amongst themselves isn’t nearly as relevant as the interaction between the victims and the accused.
Also, there seems strong evidence that this goes beyond the 2 players and others were involved in this. My suspicion is that this was some sort of organized sex ring a la Jeffrey Epstein. But given the police’s atrocious record on cases of sexual abuse, I doubt this will ever be Investigated, let alone prosecuted. Yet another instance of flagrant male abuse of power & control.
@ Richard Silverstein: You’re right! Let me correct myself: we know for a fact the girls were trying to conceal their real age and that one of them told another player she was 17, which (a) makes the suspect players’ claim that the girls told them they were 17 more credible, and (b) makes the players’ claim that they believed the girls were 17 more credible, regardless of whether the girls told them directly that they were 17. The burden would be on the prosecution to prove otherwise, beyond a reasonable doubt.
David Kreriselman says
[comment deleted: using excretory scatology for shocking effect is juvenile. Try growing up and publishing a comment without it.]