The seven-year-old girl believed to have been raped by a Palestinian Authority Arab told her interrogator that her mother told her which man was guilty, News 13 reported.
In response to the child investigator's question of, "Did your mother tell you that this is the suspect?" the girl responded, "Yes, I pointed to him, because it was him."
Child interrogators are assumed to know how to phrase questions in a non-leading fashion, but the question, "Did your mother tell you that this is the suspect?" if indeed reported accurately, is undoubtedly a "leading question," which if asked by others would invalidate the child's testimony.
Meanwhile, many Israeli news outlets are claiming that the girl's answer raises doubts as to whether 46-year-old Mahmoud Nazmi Abed Alhamid Katusa was in fact the child's rapist.
During her interrogation, the victim's mother said, "I think there's a close connection between this janitor and the attacker. My daughter said that the janitor brought someone to help him, to fix the closet in her classroom."
Katusa's lawyer, meanwhile, claimed that the girl was accompanied by her mother, not a teacher, when she pointed out Katusa and said he was her rapist, Maariv reported.
According to Kikar Hashabbat, police said Katusa usually had hideaways in the haredi city where the rape occurred, and he may be a suspect in a different rape. The site noted that police do not doubt the girl was raped, and are only questioning the identity of her rapist.