Friday, August 11, 2000

Case of Arieh Goldman

Case of Arieh Goldman
(AKA: Arik Goldman)

Ramle, Israel

Aryeh Goldman is a convicted sex offender.  Back in 2001, he was convicted of sexually assaulting seven children, yet  confessed to molesting many more children, the families of a number of the alleged victims refused to allow their children to testify in the case.

NOTE: There are several people around the globe by the ame of both Arieh Goldman and Arik Goldman.  

Disclaimer: Inclusion in this website does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement. Individuals must decide for themselves if the resources meet their own personal needs.

Table of Contents:


  1. A conspiracy of silence  (08/11/2000)
  2. Pedophile suspect indicted for molesting 50 boys (09/07/2000)

  1. Jaffa teen confesses to molesting 20 neighborhood children (02/23/2001)

A conspiracy of silence
By Leora Eren Frucht
The Jerusalem Post - August 11, 2000

Following the arrest of a 21-year-old Ramle man suspected in dozens of cases of sexual molestation, Leora Eren Frucht asks how so much abuse could go on for so long without the abuser being reported - or even suspected.

He was, according to neighbors, an "ordinary guy from a decent family."

He would play soccer with the neighborhood children and buy them candy and Pokemon cards. And, then, once he had won their trust, 21-year-old Arieh Goldman of Ramle - "Arik" to his friends - would allegedly force his young companions to have oral and anal sex with him.

Since his arrest, Goldman told Ramle police the names of 22 local boys, aged nine to 14, whom he had molested or sexually assaulted over the last year-and-a-half, some repeatedly, and said there were others whose names he didn't remember.

This week, police opened a hot line to process additional complaints and have compiled a list of 43 children from all over Ramle who say Goldman attacked them. And that may not be the final tally.

Outside the dilapidated white tenement building where Goldman lived with his parents and three brothers, a few children are playing in a dirt lot.

"All the kids in the neighborhood knew Arik," says a dark-haired woman in her thirties who did not want to give her name. "I knew him too. I used to see him walking to synagogue. I can't believe a person like this could be doing such things right under our noses.

"He used to come up to a child, put his hand on the child's shoulder and say 'hey, what's happening?' in a really friendly tone. He would do that to my son too," she says, pointing to a boy of about nine.

Did she ask her son about his relationship with Goldman? "I don't want to talk about it. I feel sick just thinking about it," she says before grabbing her son and walking away.

"I wouldn't want to be in the shoes of those parents," says a woman who works in a stationery store across the street from Goldman's apartment.

"My friend told me that he used to take her son out and would buy him things, like Pog cards - until one day her husband asked what a guy of around 20 wants with their 10-year-old son. That was a year ago.

"Now they heard the news, and asked their son if he (Goldman) had done anything to him. The boy says he didn't touch him. But who knows?" she shrugs.

Some parents don't want to know. Police informed the parents of the 22 victims named by Goldman, who described each incident in detail. But many of the parents deny their children were involved and are refusing to cooperate.

"So far very few are willing to testify," said Ramle police chief Dep.-Cmdr. Yifrah Duchovny.

In fact, Goldman was apprehended not because any of his alleged victims came forward, but only by accident.

"We were investigating a 14-year-old boy for something, and his behavior seemed odd," recalls Duchovny. "We asked him if there was something he wanted to tell us. He asked to speak to a particular inspector and confided in him that he had been sexually assaulted by Goldman."

Goldman, who has no criminal record and worked as a courier, was arrested on July 30 and has been cooperating with the police.

"He didn't express regret, but he knows he did something wrong," says Duchovny.

THE CASE of Arieh Goldman raises several disturbing questions - and not only for residents of Ramle. How could a pedophile operate continually for 18 months, molesting dozens of children without anyone reporting or suspecting him? Why, even after parents were informed about Goldman's acts, are some of them not willing to believe the police - let alone testify against the perpetrator? And could other Goldmans be operating with equal impunity in other communities in Israel?

The silence of the victims, even after repeated assaults, is not surprising, say experts.

"Victims of sexual abuse often feel responsible and guilty for what happened so they don't say a word," says Galit Hayoun, director of Ramle's social-services department.

"Children are especially vulnerable. It's easy to frighten them by convincing them that something terrible will happen if they tell," says Dr. Yitzhak Kadman, chairman of the National Council for the Child.

According to police, Goldman did just that, using threats to buy the acquiescence and silence of his victims.

"On top of that, boys fear being labeled a homosexual, which in children's circles is a curse," says Kadman. "This makes it much harder to detect sexual abuse among boys."
Sometimes children can anticipate the response of adults, who will only reinforce their sense of guilt.

"'What an idiot! Why did you go with him?' is a common response of parents, says Kadman, and one that only encourages children to clam up. "The attackers also know how to play on a child's guilt."

Even if children don't tell anyone what happened to them, they do let people know in other ways.

"There are always signs," says Hayoun.

The Ramle case came to light because of an alert youth officer, who noticed such signs in a teenager being questioned about another matter.

"One of the surprising things about this case is that parents and teachers saw these children every day and didn't notice any of the signs," says Hayoun, who is in charge of providing initial treatment to the victims and their families. "I don't know how to explain that."

Kadman says that "many parents are just too busy to notice changes in their children's behavior, and tend to dismiss a child with problems as a nudnik."

WHAT are the signs?

Hayoun cites a few: Poor school performance, mood swings, anger attacks, a tendency to isolate oneself, changes in sleep and eating habits, stomachaches, compulsive behavior like repeated hand-washing, or an unusual and inappropriate preoccupation with sex (like a six-year-old who wants to watch pornographic films, or a 14-year-old who shows interest in seeing his younger brother naked).

Of course, most of these symptoms - with the exception of the preoccupation with sex - can be triggered by other traumatic events like the loss of someone close to the child, or a parents' divorce.

"When a child doesn't feel like eating a felafel it doesn't meana parent should run to a rape-crisis center," cautions Kadman. "But often parents miss the hints or dismiss them. If the child has a stomachache, the parent will say,'oh, not again.' Or if the child refuses to step out of the house, a parent will consider this an irritating tantrum.

"The only way to know what's behind unusual behavior is to ask," says Kadman. "Sometimes it's enough to say to a child: 'Tell me what's bothering you.'"

If parents know that their children have been sexually abused, why won't they come forward?

Ramle police chief Duchovny, who is trying to persuade parents to testify against Goldman, says: "Not every family wants their friends and neighbors to know their child was sexually abused.

"To be a victim of such an act is a humiliating thing," says a neighbor of Goldman's who also did not want to reveal her name. "Everyone knows everyone here. You want to keep this sort of thing in the family."

That attitude is especially pronounced in traditional and religious circles, says Kadman, explaining that parents fear the stigma of sexual abuse could ruin the marital prospects of all their children.

In some, the stigma is so great that they totally deny what has happened, says Hayoun.
"This is one reason why the signs of a child in distress go unnoticed. The parent sees what's going on but can't face it," she says.

PARENTS may also be reluctant to let their child testify because they have unfounded fears about the legal process, explains Kadman. They may envision a showdown between their 10-year-old boy and his attacker in a jam-packed courtroom.

In fact, children who are victims of sexual abuse do not even have to testify directly, he notes. A special youth investigator may testify in the place of a child under the age of 15, says Kadman. If the child does testify, it's possible to remove the suspect from the courtroom to prevent a face-to-face encounter.

The National Council for the Child runs a program in which a volunteer, usually a student of law or social work, accompanies a sexually abused child and his or her family throughout their contact with the police and courts, doing simulations of the trial with the child.

But some of the parents' fears about the legal procedure are justified, says Kadman. "There is no separate waiting room for children testifying in court. So they may find themselves sitting next to criminals while they await the start of the trial."

And it can be a long wait.

"They may be called to court at eight in the morning, but wait until two in the afternoon to testify," notes Kadman. "This is hard enough for adults; it's intolerable for a child, especially one who is so vulnerable."

An even greater shortcoming of the system is that victims who do come forward find there is nowhere to receive what they need most: treatment.

"There is no state body that offers treatment for children who are victims of sexual abuse," says Kadman.

Initially, the city's welfare department has one or two sessions with the child and his family. Usually follow-up treatment is recommended, but the local welfare department doesn't have the resources to offer it.

"If the victim's parents can afford the cost, they'll send him to a private psychologist," says Kadman. "If not, they may wait about nine months to be seen by someone at one of the Health Ministry's mental- health clinics - usually someone who has little or no training in dealing with this sort of problem. The Education Ministry has psychologists but they are educational, not clinical ones. There are a few voluntary bodies that offer help, but that depends on whether they have a budget in a particular year."

Kadman says he raised these issues in a Knesset committee session two years ago, but nothing has been done to address the problem. A government-appointed committee, headed by Yehudit Karp, also noted the total lack of services available to help sexually abused children.

"I know a father who is now suing the Education Ministry to cover the cost of a private psychologist for his child who was sexually abused in school. This was the only way he could get the state to provide treatment," Kadman says.

The real tragedy is that untreated victims may become perpetrators themselves, becoming a danger not only to themselves but to their entire community. "It's like a ticking bomb," says Kadman.

That is not to say that every victim will turn into a perpetrator, but many sexual abusers were once victims, he notes.

ARIEH Goldman grew up in a two-room apartment, shared with his parents, three brothers and two sisters. His parents are welfare recipients, like many people in this neighborhood full of rows of rundown tenement buildings. Some of his alleged victims were from this same neighborhood, say police.

But poverty does not breed pedophiles.

"Sexual abuse transcends class," says Kadman. "What happened in Ramle could happen in any neighborhood, rich or poor.

"In fact, I suspect there are many more cases we have yet to disclose," says Kadman. "Only a very small percentage of sexually abused children come forward. Some of them keep it hidden for years, even decades."

The public and even the police were shocked to discover that as many as 43 children may have been sexually abused by one man in Ramle. But the difference between Ramle, and other communities in Israel, may well be that we just happen to know about Ramle.

The emergency line for children who may be victims of sexual abuse in Ramle is 08-9771780 or 08-9771782.

Elsewhere in Israel, help is offered at The Israeli Center for Treatment of Sexually Abused Children at 02-5630428.


Pedophile suspect indicted for molesting 50 boys
By Heidi J. Gleit
Jerusalem Post - September 7, 2000

Charges were filed against Arieh Goldman in Tel Aviv District Court yesterday for sodomizing and molesting five boys aged nine to 15. 

Since his arrest over a month ago, Goldman, 21, of Ramle, has confessed to sexually assaulting nearly 50 youths, police said. Charges have been brought only in five cases, as many of the children Goldman confessed to assaulting, and their parents, have denied being victimized by him, according to Ramle police chief Dep.-Cmdr. Yifrah Ducovny. 

Ramle police are continuing the investigation and will add sections to the indictment as the investigation proceeds, Ducovny said. 

Goldman has been remanded until today, when the court is expected to extend his remand until the end of proceedings. 

Goldman's attorney, Eyal Simhony, cast doubt on the authenticity of his client's confessions, maintaining that he may have admitted to things he didn't do. Simhony had pressed for Goldman to be charged quickly so that he could be transferred from police custody to a jail run by the Prisons Service, which offers better conditions. 

According to the charge sheet, Goldman, who worked as a medic and security guard at a Ramle school, used various pretexts to become close enough to the five boys so he could sexually molest them. However, on one occasion, he allegedly lured one boy into a basement, where he molested and sodomized him. 

Hanita Zimrin, the founder and chairwoman of Eli, The Israel Association for Child Protection, expressed regret at the reluctance of the other victims and their parents to come forward. 

Pedophilia is an incurable condition which can be suppressed with proper treatment, she explained, but if Goldman is not brought to justice, he may not undergo treatment and could continue to roam the streets and prey on children. 

Another concern is the damage that repression could have on the victims, Zimrin said. 

"It is a major mistake, a very common mistake, of parents to think that if they don't talk about something terrible that happened the children will forget about it... [but] things that are sometimes covered up and repressed will come out in 10 or 20 years from now when the [person] is not prepared for this," she said.


Jaffa teen confesses to molesting 20 neighborhood children
By Heidi J. Gleit
The Jerusalem Post - Friday, February 23, 2001

A Jaffa resident has confessed to sexually molesting 20 children from his school and neighborhood, Yiftah precinct chief Lt.-Cmdr. Menashe Arbiv said yesterday. The Tel Aviv Juvenile Court yesterday remanded the suspect, 15, for five days.

Police arrested the suspect on Wednesday, following an investigation spurred by a complaint from the mother of a victim.

The suspect confessed to molesting 20 children aged eight to 12 over the past half year, Arbiv said. He told investigators he would lure the children to his home or isolated locations, such as bomb shelters, yards, or the beach, by inviting them to play cards or other games and then rape, sodomize, and molest them.

The suspect provided police with great details of the attacks, including the names of victims and locations of the attacks. However, Arbiv emphasized that the investigation is still in its early stages. A psychological evaluation of the suspect has not yet been completed and police have not yet established whether the suspect himself was a victim of sexual abuse. He attended school regularly and was unknown to police prior to the incident.

Police have located nine of the alleged victims so far and are working to locate the other victims.

One child, aged eight, told investigators that the suspect sexually assaulted him on four different occasions. He said the suspect did not use force during the attack, but threatened him afterward when he ordered him not to tell anyone.

The other victims are to be questioned over the next few days by social services experts working in cooperation with the police, as police are not allowed to directly question young children.

Police are working around the clock to solve the case as quickly as possible, Arbiv said.
A spokeswoman from the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality said that municipal social services intend to provide appropriate assistance to victims and residents of the area as soon as the situation is clarified.

This is the third case police have uncovered over the past year in the center of the country in which a pedophile was preying on a large number of children in his area.

Aryeh Goldman, 22, of Ramle, was convicted by Tel Aviv District Court last week of sexually assaulting seven children from his neighborhood aged seven to 13. Although Goldman confessed to molesting many more children, the families of a number of the alleged victims refused to allow their children to testify in the case.
Last month police arrested a Bnei Brak resident, 14, who confessed to molesting about 10 six and seven year olds from his neighborhood.



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