Gavel (illustration)
Gavel (illustration)iStock

The Central District Criminal Prosecutor on Sunday filed an indictment with the Central District Court, against four childcare assistants at the "Tuli's Mishpachton" center in Ramle, charging them with several counts of abuse of a minor, as well as attack on a minor by a responsible party.

The four have been named as Ruhama Sa'ad (37), Nirit Shvid (46), Nana (Chani) Tzatzashvili (50), and Orly Shragani (37).

According to the indictment, during the relevant period the suspects were employed as assistants at "Tuli's Mishpachton," a private childcare center in Ramle serving infants and toddlers ages three months to 3.5 years. During that period, the assistants were responsible for caring for the center's 43 attending children.

During the period of their employment, the assistants carried out acts of abuse and attack on 26 minors, while using various objects. Among other things, the assistants held the children too strongly; pulled their hands and feet, dragging them; picked up the minors and threw them hard onto mattresses or chairs; slapped the minors; and threw packages of wipes and toys at the minors.

In addition, Sa'ad and Shvid scattered snacks on the floor and forced the children to eat off the floor. They also slapped the children with swaddling blankets.

Tzatzashvili and Shragani often fed the babies while they were still in their bouncy chairs, shoving food into their mouths with spoons, against the infants' will and while ignoring their cries. After the feedings, the two would rock the bouncy chairs harshly and sometimes even tip them backwards so that the babies' heads nearly touched the floor.

These assistants systematically abused helpless minors in their care, as shown in footage from eight security cameras over a period of a month and a half. The abuse was expressed, among other things, in the nature of the incidents, as characterized by the large number of instances and minor victims, the fact that these instances occurred daily, the children's young age, and the fact that the suspects were the only parties responsible for the minors' needs, health, and safety. As such, exposure to the abusive behaviors became routine for the center's 43 children.

In a request for their arrest, attorney Naomi Mashasha wrote that the suspects "harmed innocent babies and children, some of whom had no verbal abilities at all and some of whom were at the beginning stages of verbal development, who could not tell and ask aid from their parents. All of this was done while the defendants were charged with ensuring the physical and emotional welfare of the minors, and they harmed them again and again."