JERUSALEM (VINnews) — A senior member of the Jerusalem Religious Council has been arrested on charges of molestation and sexual offenses against a young woman during the period when she was aged 13 to 17.
The senior official is 47-year-old David Malka, who was the director of the Kashrus department in the Jerusalem rabbinate at the time when the alleged crimes were committed and was the boss of the 13-year-old girl’s father.
The woman, who is now aged 27, came forward to complain because Israeli law says that the prescriptive period for sexual offenses against minors is 10 years from the age of 18 onwards, recognizing that not all minors realize the extent of the harm they have suffered. The woman, identified as Chani, wished to submit the complaints before the statute of limitations concluded.
Malka was a close friend of Chani’s family and the alleged crimes occurred at a number of locations including his home when Chani was babysitting for his children. She claimed that he had admitted his acts and even apologized a number of times, claiming that they had no justification.
After Malka was arrested and his remand was extended a number of times before submitting an indictment, the prosecutor decided inexplicably to release him in the meantime, claiming that “many of the crimes committed years ago have passed the statute of limitations and therefore there is no reason to keep the accused in custody. A final decision will be reached in the next few weeks.”
Chani was shocked by this decision and decided to go to the media. In a Ynet interview she spoke openly and said that “I felt justified , but I’m disappointed, hurt and insulted, I feel that the state slapped me in the face. I wish to thank police for their sensitive treatment of this case, they did all they could for me.”
Chani described the ordeal she had undergone from Malka: “David was the best friend of my father from work. He, his wife and children would meet with my family on numerous occasions. One evening when I went with my father to eat at a restaurant, he couldn’t take me back and asked David to do so instead. I was at a rough time in my life, my parents had divorced. I told him how hard it was for me and he said: “I’ll be here for you, I’ll be like your psychologist.
“I was at the most fragile point in my life and he exploited it, told me to tell him about everything, said that ‘you don’t need a psychologist’
“After a few months of giving me emotional support which I so needed, he asked me to come to his office to take something for my father. It was late and the workers at the office had left. He wanted to hug me and do other things. On other occasions he asked that I should come so I could ‘talk’ but things got worse. There were times when he physically hurt me but I persuaded myself that it would be over soon, I didn’t want to lose a listening ear and the emotional support that he was giving me.
“I would babysit his children and when I slept in their room he would molest me. I could’t resist,” she says regretfully. “He was my father’s boss, 20 years older than me. He was very charismatic and always knew how to say the right words.”
Chani later left the country but Malka still tracked her and attempted to control her life. It was only later, after she underwent therapy, that she realized she had been the victim of serious sexual offenses and exploitation.
Chani decided to meet with Malka and record his words in order to get a confession which she could use in her complaint. Malka indeed apologized for his behavior. “A person who goes and robs a bank can say that he needed money for drugs, food etc. but that doesn’t mean one can rob a bank. In your specific case, it shouldn’t have happened and I should have protected you from such actions,” Malka said on record. “It’s not that I’m trying to say that your agreement justified the actions, because it didn’t. I’m embarrased that I have reached this situation with you, with my friend [your father] and with myself. I ask you to accept these words from me.”
Chani spoke openly with the media. She knows that other women were attacked by Malka and hopes that they will also come forward. “I have nothing to be embarrassed about or to hide. I said the truth. I hope whoever was harmed by him will come to police and submit a complaint.”