Serial 'mikva rapist' charged for assaults on teens

66-year-old Jerusalem man allegedly cornered teens as young as 13 in mikva, threatening to lock them inside if they resisted him.

David Rosenberg ,


A 66-year-old Jerusalem man was indicted on charges of sexual assault and sodomy Sunday in a Jerusalem district court. The charges stemmed from a series of rapes and sexual assaults which took place in a Jerusalem mikva (ritual bathhouse) where the accused worked.

According to Sunday’s indictment, the suspect, Haim Shragai, raped three local teenage boys over the course of three years.

The victims ranged in age from 13 to 16.

Shragai helped manage the mikva where the attacks took place, Behadrei Haredim reported, and used his position to trap his victims.

Authorities say Shragai would approach the teenagers while they were using the mikva, and blocked their exit if they tried to escape.

When the teens refused to submit to his demands, Shragai would threaten to leave the victims locked inside the facility, and warned that he would tell the victims’ parents that they were guilty of various offenses. In some instances, Shragai showed his victims pornographic material, then threatened to tell their parents.

After each incident, Shragai would pay the victim a small sum, usually several shekels.

The prosecution has requested that Shragai be denied bail and be held in custody until the end of his trial.