Israel Police: Teacher Charged With Indecent Assault of 7-Year-old Girls

Substitute teacher Shaul Shamai was indicted in the Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday for indecently assaulting several seven-year-old girls and one 13-year-old girl. He was also charged with failing to report his previous conviction for sexual offenses to the school where he was employed.

Shamai, 48, from Rishon Lezion, near Tel Aviv, was employed as a substitute teacher by a northern Tel Aviv elementary school from October until his arrest earlier this month.

According to the indictment Shamai committed a series of sexual offenses against four 7- and 8-year-old girls in front of the rest of the class when they would come to him for help during lessons. He would allegedly sit the girls on his lap and put his hands under their clothes and touch them inappropriately, sometimes despite their verbal or physical resistance.

During the investigation it emerged that the principal, an educational adviser and another pupil warned Shamai several times about his inappropriate physical contact with the students. He was barred from speaking with the pupils during break and told not to have any physical contact with them.

During one confrontation between Shamai and the principal, he said that she had permitted him to hug the students — a claim she denied.

Shamai denied all the charges saying that he simply showed a warm, loving, fatherly attitude to the pupils but did not harm them. He admitted that he may have “accidentally touched them” inappropriately while hugging them. He also told the court that the girls would sit on his lap. When asked whether he touched their private parts he replied, “I don’t remember anymore, and I have nothing further to say.”

Shamai was also charged with sexual offenses against a 13-year-old girl he tutored privately from July 2014 until September 2016 in her home in Rishon Lezion. He would allegedly put his hand under her shirt and tell her to relax. One time he licked her lips and unsuccessfully tried to force his tongue into her mouth. Immediately afterward the girl phoned her mother, crying, and the mother confronted Shamai, who denied he had done anything.

Shamai returned to the house and pleaded with the girl not to tell anyone because “if she told she would ruin his career.”

The prosecution requested that Shamai be remanded in custody until the end of the hearing. Shamai abused the teacher-pupil relationship, the prosecution said, using his position of authority to take advantage of them.

“The accused committed a long series of serious sexual offenses,” the request stated. “In a repeated pattern of action he took advantage of his role as a teacher, an educator responsible for the well-being of young girls, and cynically used them satisfy his desires.”

1 reply
  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    A substitute math teacher at a north Tel Aviv school was indicted Thursday for a string of sex crimes against underage female students.

    Shaul Shamai, a 49-year old resident of Rishon Letzion, is accused of committing indecent acts on four second graders at the school where he worked as a substitute math teacher, as well as similar acts on a 13-year old private student he had been tutoring. A total of 11 students had filed complaints against Shaul, but only 5 were included in Thursday’s indictment.

    Shamai worked as a substitute teacher at the school from October 2016 until earlier this month, when he was accused by students of molestation and sexual assault.

    According to the indictment, Shamai would ask individual female students to remain in the classroom after class had ended. In each incident, Shamai would sit the student down on his lap and touch her in an explicitly sexual manner. Shamai did this even while in many cases the students objected and asked that he stop.

    Shamai also committed indecent acts against the 13-year old student he was tutoring at least four times, all of them during study sessions at the victim’s home.

    Shamai has denied the charges, claiming that his physical contact with the girls was limited to “fatherly hugs”.

    “It was possible that while hugging, I accidentally touched them inappropriately,” said Shamai.

    Shamai also claims that the principal of the school where he taught had okayed his request to hug students. The principal has denied Shamai’s claim.

    According to a report by Channel 10, Shamai admitted to investigators that he had sat down female students on his lap, but insisted the touching was never sexual in nature.

    “I sat down the girls on my knees a few times, and I know that that is against the Education Ministry’s regulations, but there was nothing sexual about it,” said Shamai, adding “I have a special onnection with my female students.”

    The police department, Education Ministry, and school administrators have all come under criticism following the revelations regarding Shamai, who had already been accused of sex crimes against children at the time he was hired to work as a substitute teacher.

    In February 2016, a 12-year old female student Shamai was tutoring accused him of sexual assault – more than half a year before he began working at the Tel Aviv school.

    In October 2016, Shamai was hired as a teacher, despite his history of pedophilia and his lack of a teacher’s certificate. Three months later, Shamai was asked to bring a police record, showing that he had no past charges of crimes against minors.

    Shamai was convicted in April 2017 following the complaint by the 12-year old student, yet remained as a teacher at the school until accusations by students there went public in June.

    On Wednesday, however, police Chief Superintendent Iris Barak told a Knesset committee that authorities had informed the Education Ministry of Shamai’s criminal past, Channel 10 reported.

    “Despite the fact that the information was laid out in front of them, they reached the decision that they did [to retain Shamai].”

    “The information was requested by the Education Ministry and was received; what was done with it [the information] is not our responsibility.”

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