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Jerusalem - Charges Dropped In Case Of Palestinian Accused Of Raping 7-year-old Jewish Girl

Published on: June 25, 2019 09:00 AM
By: JTA
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Mahmoud Katusa, seen after his relese from Israeli Jail, at the Beitunia crossing, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, June 25, 2019. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90Mahmoud Katusa, seen after his relese from Israeli Jail, at the Beitunia crossing, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, June 25, 2019. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Jerusalem -  Rape charges were dropped against a Palestinian man who worked as a janitor in the West Bank Jewish settlement elementary school of his accuser.

The indictment against Mahmoud Katusa was withdrawn on Tuesday by the Israel Defense Forces military advocate general due to a lack of evidence.

Katusa, 46, was indicted eight days ago in a West Bank military court for rape, assault and abduction of a 7-year-old girl. He reportedly worked for many years in the haredi Orthodox Jewish settlement where the girl lives, both at the school and in construction. His attorney has said that he has an alibi for the time that the alleged rape took place from a Jewish employer, and later the exact date could not be pinned down.

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“The evidentiary infrastructure that underlies the indictment does not at this time amount to a ‘reasonable chance of conviction.’ Therefore, by law, the criminal process cannot continue, the indictment must be withdrawn and Katusa released from custody,” military prosecutor Sharon Afek said in a statement.

Katusa, a resident of the village of Deir Qaddis, was scheduled to be released Tuesday afternoon from jail, where he has been held for that last two months.

On Wednesday, police reopened the investigation into the case, saying new information had come to light, following the three-month investigation.

According to Israeli media reports, no physical evidence has been discovered to tie the suspect, Mahmoud Katusa, to the attack. The girl was not examined by a doctor until at least five days after the incident, and a pair of underwear that the girl wore on the day of the alleged attack was not sent for forensic testing, according to reports. Police also had not been able to locate two other men that the girl said held her down during the assault.

Mahmoud Katusa, seen after his relese from Israeli Jail, at the Beitunia crossing, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, June 25, 2019. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90 Mahmoud Katusa, seen after his relese from Israeli Jail, at the Beitunia crossing, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, June 25, 2019. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90


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Read Comments (13)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 25, 2019 at 09:08 AM Phineas Says:

Put a hit on him

2

 Jun 25, 2019 at 10:02 AM Mayer Says:

#1 - why, just because he is an Arab? Anyone who read the reports of what was alleged could easily discern that there was no evidence here from the outset. The man worked at the school and other Jewish homes and businesses for years, aside of which he had an alibi from a Jew for the time the alleged offense was committed. Not every claim of sexual assault is true. I feel sorry for him, two months in jail for no reason is a long time. Hope he gets well compensated.

3

 Jun 25, 2019 at 10:33 AM Bezalel Says:

Reply to #2  
Mayer Says:

#1 - why, just because he is an Arab? Anyone who read the reports of what was alleged could easily discern that there was no evidence here from the outset. The man worked at the school and other Jewish homes and businesses for years, aside of which he had an alibi from a Jew for the time the alleged offense was committed. Not every claim of sexual assault is true. I feel sorry for him, two months in jail for no reason is a long time. Hope he gets well compensated.

Phineas is the Anglicized version of Pinchas, the zealot.

4

 Jun 25, 2019 at 10:54 AM yamsar Says:

Reply to #1  
Phineas Says:

Put a hit on him

Why?

5

 Jun 25, 2019 at 11:06 AM PaulinSaudi Says:

None of my business.

6

 Jun 25, 2019 at 11:08 AM Cixelsyd_Wnosanoy Says:

Reply to #1  
Phineas Says:

Put a hit on him

"The girl was not examined by a doctor until at least five days after the incident, and a pair of underwear that the girl wore on the day of the alleged attack was not sent for forensic testing"

This violates elementary guidelines for the investigation of sexual assaults which are in use in all American states of which I am aware. Facts are that the Israeli police had no evidence connecting Katusa to the crime going in...and botched the forensic investigation too.

So what's you problem Phineas?

7

 Jun 25, 2019 at 11:10 AM triumphinwhitehouse Says:

theres never a "lack of evidence" when it comes to hilltop youth, frum Jews or Elor Azaria, how do these liberals expect to have evidence on a prepuberty child? Secular Zionist justice.

8

 Jun 25, 2019 at 11:55 AM Phineas Says:

Reply to #6  
Cixelsyd_Wnosanoy Says:

"The girl was not examined by a doctor until at least five days after the incident, and a pair of underwear that the girl wore on the day of the alleged attack was not sent for forensic testing"

This violates elementary guidelines for the investigation of sexual assaults which are in use in all American states of which I am aware. Facts are that the Israeli police had no evidence connecting Katusa to the crime going in...and botched the forensic investigation too.

So what's you problem Phineas?

My problem is that this girl was raped. If it was not this guy, then I take it back. My impression was that it was an open and shut case.

9

 Jun 25, 2019 at 11:58 AM Phineas Says:

Reply to #2  
Mayer Says:

#1 - why, just because he is an Arab? Anyone who read the reports of what was alleged could easily discern that there was no evidence here from the outset. The man worked at the school and other Jewish homes and businesses for years, aside of which he had an alibi from a Jew for the time the alleged offense was committed. Not every claim of sexual assault is true. I feel sorry for him, two months in jail for no reason is a long time. Hope he gets well compensated.

You are right, I did not read the article carefully all the way through (I was driving). If it's the wrong man or if there are inconsistencies in her story, then the matter has to be dropped.

10

 Jun 25, 2019 at 12:19 PM Cixelsyd_Wnosanoy Says:

Reply to #7  
triumphinwhitehouse Says:

theres never a "lack of evidence" when it comes to hilltop youth, frum Jews or Elor Azaria, how do these liberals expect to have evidence on a prepuberty child? Secular Zionist justice.

What! You need an elementary briefing on forensic investigations, the kind one can find on google...and maybe even a lesson on the birds and the bees in order to imagine what kinds of evidence are left after a sexual assault. I mean, chas v'shalom, never let facts or common sense get in the way of your ideological nonsense.

11

 Jun 25, 2019 at 01:41 PM Anonymous Says:

The Israeli police have been, are presently, and always will be incompetent. I remember a few years ago, when they detained four Israeli Jewish hoodlums who beat the heck out of one American Jewish tourist on a beach by the Kinneret, for no reason. The hoodlums told the cops that they were the victims, and the dumb cops without checking the facts, let them go!

12

 Jun 25, 2019 at 04:25 PM Naftush Says:

Reply to #9  
Phineas Says:

You are right, I did not read the article carefully all the way through (I was driving). If it's the wrong man or if there are inconsistencies in her story, then the matter has to be dropped.

Do you read articles carelessly while driving?

13

 Jun 25, 2019 at 06:12 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Mayer Says:

#1 - why, just because he is an Arab? Anyone who read the reports of what was alleged could easily discern that there was no evidence here from the outset. The man worked at the school and other Jewish homes and businesses for years, aside of which he had an alibi from a Jew for the time the alleged offense was committed. Not every claim of sexual assault is true. I feel sorry for him, two months in jail for no reason is a long time. Hope he gets well compensated.

I hope you get help. You badly need it. Feh.

14

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