Sunday, March 8, 2009

Abuse - false accusations?


Four times the police brought M. from Be'er Sheva to court to extend his remand. The suspicion was grave: rape of a 7-year-old girl in the toilets at her school. Each time the court ordered a remand extension, M. loudly protested his innocence and demanded a polygraph test. He says that in response to his denials, the police would whisper in his ear "You raped her."

It was only in recent days, after 10 days under arrest and a moment before an indictment was filed, that the police and prosecution acceded to his lawyers' pleas and sent M. for a polygraph test. He was found to be telling the truth and was released. The case was then closed for a lack of evidence of sexual assault, save for what the girl had said.

Three days after he was released, M. still finds it hard to calm down. He chain-smokes; one moment he is sunk in thought, the next he gets up and paces around the room hundreds of times, his eyes fixed on the floor. From time to time he spreads his arms out to his sides. Then he leans on the wall, his face in his hands. "I know that I have to be strong and get through this," he says. "I am praying to God to give me strength to raise my children."

He is 38 years old, married and the father of three. He works in the maintenance department of the Be'er Sheva municipality, taking home NIS 4,000 per month. Only two months ago he moved with his family to a private house in Be'er Sheva.

One morning about a month ago a first-grader at the state religious school, a girl, went into the school's only bathroom, for both boys and girls. Three municipal maintenance workers, among them M., were working nearby, installing tables in the new computer room.

According to the girl, as her mother told Haaretz, "She went into the bathroom and she saw this man. He closed the bathroom's main door behind him and she was paralyzed with fear. He pushed her into one of the stalls and sexually assaulted her. Immediately after he satisfied himself, she escaped. She put her clothes on in the corridor. She was running so fast she bumped into the railing and was hit hard in the chest." [...]


  1. Sad event, an investigation has to be made before an individual is accused of child abuse.

  2. Polygraph tests are notoriously ineffective. Their best use, as far as I can ascertain, is as a means of encouraging someone to make a confession -
    "Did you steal the diamonds? You might as well tell us, because if you force us to get a warrant for using a polygraph we'll find out anyway and the judge will go harder on you for wasting our time."

    That being said, the man very well may be innocent: I presume that they've exhausted all other sources of information.

  3. I know for a fact you can pass a polygraph test and still not tell the truth, because I did it once. And I was only 18 at the time, applying for my first job which needed a security clearance. You also had to have experience, but I had none, so my resume was "padded," to say the least. Yet when they asked me questions using a polygraph about my resume and other things, I passed the test and got the job. There is a REASON that polygraph tests are not submissible as evidence in a court of law - because they are NOT accurate. You can tell half-truths and flat out lies and still pass one. So this doesn't impress me one bit - nor will it impress any real law enforcement agency. They all know better.


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