- Security guard suspected of sexually abusing children (09/02/2004)
- Kiryat Arba man held in one of `worst ever pedophilia cases' (09/02/2004)
- Police turn up new leads in Ashdod pedophile case (09/03/2004)
- Woman held as accomplice in pedophile case (09/08/2004)
- International Child Exploitation Investigation Results in Charges against Toronto Resident (Man wanted in Israel) (01/25/2005)
- Police probe alleged child exploitation ring (01/25/2005)
- Worldwide Woe (01/25/2005)
- Man charged in child-porn probe (01/26/2005)
- Jerusalem court sentences convicted child rapist to 16 years in prison (02/22/2005)
Shimon Ben Tov, 51, from the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of sexually abusing dozens of children over the course of the past five years.
Police investigators believe it to be one of the biggest and most shocking pedophilia cases in Israel in recent years. The Jerusalem Magistrates Court on Wednesday extended Ben Tov's remand by eight days.
Ben Tov, who worked as a security guard at various school across the country, was arrested after the mother of an 11-year-old from the Givat Ze'ev neighborhood of Jerusalem filed a police complaint, saying Ben Tov had sexually abused her son. In a police raid on Ben Tov's Kiryat Arba home, police investigators found more than 100 videotapes, dozens of CDs and hundreds of pictures in which the suspect is photographed while sexually abusing and raping children.
According to police, Ben Tov, who worked in Ashdod and Givat Ze'ev, tended to befriend students aged 11-15, invite them to his house to watch pornographic movies and then sexually abuse them.
In the coming days, police plan to locate children who appear in the photographs found in Ben Tov's home, in an effort to gain additional testimonials to be used against the suspect.
Ha'aretz - September 02, 2004 / Elul 16, 5764
Photo Caption - School security guard Shimon Ben-Tov (head covered by shirt) waiting for a remand hearing in Jeruslaem yesterday.
A guard from Kiryat Arba near Hebron has been arrested on suspicion of carrying out indecent acts on children in different parts of the country. The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court yesterday remanded him in custody for eight days.
Shimon Ben-Tov, aged 51, is also suspected of recording the acts on video and computer and of taking still pictures of himself with the victims. Police called it is one of the most shocking incidents of pedophilia they have uncovered.
Ben-Tov was arrested two days ago after a resident of Givat Ze'ev filed a complaint. She said she had met Ben-Tov at the home of acquaintances and he had enticed her 11-year-old son to come to his house, where he subjected the boy to indecent acts.
Police who searched Ben-Tov's home in Kiryat Arba were amazed to find an enormous collection of pedophilia - 106 video tapes, a computer and dozens of CD-roms showing sexual acts with children, and numerous photos and negatives. In all of these, the guard is photographed with dozens of children aged 11-15 on whom he is performing indecent acts or whom he is sodomizing.
"We have only managed to view a small part of the dozens of videos, partly because there are so many and partly because they are so difficult to view," the head of the youth division of the police in the Judea and Samaria region, Assaf Zioni, said.
"For years, the police have not seen such an extensive collection of pedophilia, and the suspect appears in the pictures and on the video tapes." The suspect has admitted to a small number of incidents attributed to him.
In the past few years, Ben-Tov worked as a guard in various schools in Ashdod and Givat Ze'ev. He met young boys and invited them to his home, ostensibly to view pornographic films. Police say that, judging by the pictures, dozens of children fell victim to the guard, who photographed them himself and with the
aid of a third party who has not yet been arrested.
Ben-Tov admitted trying to sell the pictures to Russian Internet sites, including the pedophile site, "boy-lovers." So far, police have gathered evidence only from the 11-year-old who led to Ben-Tov's arrest.
They now plan to take close-ups of other children from the pictures confiscated in Ben-Tov's home and to try to identify the victims. To this end, they will also go to the schools where he worked in the hope of finding victims who are prepared to give evidence.
Meanwhile, a Tel Aviv magistrate yesterday extended the remand of another suspected pedophile, 43-year-old Avraham Papo of Bnei Braq, by six days. He is accused of committing acts of sodomy against at least six children, aged 10-14.
Papo has reportedly confessed and told police about two additional victims. None of them had complained to police. The case came to light when a 12-year-old boy complained that his neighbor had several times raped him and caused him injury.
Police suspected that Papo may have been guilty of further indecent acts but when they went to arrest him, he had disappeared. He was found by police on Tuesday evening, walking on the promenade in Tel Aviv, and after his arrest, reportedly admitted his guilt.
By Yuval Azoulay
Haaretz - September 03, 2004 / Elul 17, 5764
The investigation of a Kiryat Arba man suspected of sexually assaulting children in Ashdod from 1997-2000 has revealed new information.
Police are now investigating a suspicion that in some cases Shimon Ben-Tov, 51, who was a school security guard in Ashdod, committed some offenses outside the schools where he was employed. A 16-year-old boy who allegedly was assaulted by Ben-Tov about two-and-a-half years ago testified to police yesterday for several hours. He told Samaria and Judea police investigators that Ben-Tov had assaulted him after meeting him on the street.
"The boy's testimony is a step forward in the investigation, but there is a great deal more to do and many more points that are still unclear," Chief Inspector Assaf Tzanani, commander of the Samaria and Judea Police Youth Division, said. The police noted that the boy had not come forward to file a complaint at the time of the attack. Police did not reveal any details about how they came across the boy.
Lachish region police are also looking into unsolved complaints of sexual assault in Ashdod, and will transfer these files to the Samaria and Judea Police. Ben-Tov moved from Ashdod, where he lived alone, to Kiryat Arba near Hebron about a year and a half ago. In Ashdod he worked in 10 different schools while he was employed by several different security companies.
"The material we have is shocking, and includes video tapes," Chief Inspector Tzanani said. "This is apparently a case of pedophilia the likes of which we haven't seen before."
Police, who suspect Ben-Tov of involvement in 30 to 40 cases of sexual assault involving children in Ashdod from 1997-2000, said yesterday that Ben-Tov had admitted so far to eight instances of sexual assault, mostly in Ashdod.
The suspect expressed remorse for his actions, but Tzanani said, "when you look at the video tapes and examine the proof we have against him, it just doesn't jive with his expressions of remorse."
Ashdod city officials expressed surprise at the suspicions against Ben-Tov. "We do not recall receiving any reports of a school security guard who sexually assaulted children. If there had been such a case, he would have been fired immediately," the Ashdod municipal education department said.
By Yuval Azoulay
Haaretz - September 08, 2004 / Elul 22, 5764
Police arrested a woman in Tel Aviv yesterday on suspicion of being an accomplice to Shimon Ben Tov, 51, of Kiryat Arba, who was arrested last week on suspicion of sexually abusing dozens of children while employed as a school guard in Ashdod between 1997-2000.
The 27-year-old woman, a Russian resident here illegally, was picked up after police viewed photographs taken from Ben Tov, which documents him abusing the children and shows the woman as an accomplice in some cases.
Ben Tov will be brought before Jerusalem Magistrate's Court this morning for a remand hearing.
Investigators suspect he used the woman as bait to lure children to his home, then abused them in her presence. In several cases the children were brought into sexual contact with her, and in at least one case, a teenage boy had intercourse with her. Police said the woman has admitted some of the allegations.
Police know Ben Tov tried distributing some of the photographic material to Russian pedophile Web sites, including photographs showing him having sex with children with the woman present, but it's still unclear whether he succeeded.
The woman will be handed over to the Immigration Police for deportation, but she is expected to testify beforehand in an expedited procedure.
In October of 2004, Interpol - Jerusalem notified the Toronto Police Service Fugitive Squad that they held a warrant for the arrest of a man now believed to be living in Toronto. The man, identified as Vitaly Levshin, a 46-year-old Israeli Citizen of Ukrainian descent, was wanted in Israel for numerous serious sexual assaults on children, as well as making and distributing child pornography on the Internet dating back to 2000.
It was determined that Levshin came to Canada in 2000 and had been granted Landed Immigrant status (in other words: permanent residency) in Canada. All of the officers’ efforts for extradition proceedings, to be initiated by the Israeli authorities, were rejected and denied.
Levshin was tracked down to a North Toronto address, and because of the potential danger to Toronto children, the Child Exploitation Section of the Sex Crimes Unit and 32 Division started a criminal investigation.
Since the authorities in Israel were reluctant to extradite Levshin, the matter was referred to an officer of the Canada Border Services Agency assigned to the TPS Fugitive Squad.
On Monday, November 29, 2004, the CBSA officer attached to the Fugitive team advised that he had obtained an Immigration arrest warrant for Levshin.
In the early morning hours of Tuesday, November 30, 2004, Levshin was arrested without incident and a Criminal Code search warrant was executed at his residence in the Bathurst Street and Steeles Avenue West area of Toronto. The accused had approximately 3,000 pictures in his possession. About 2,000 of these pictures appear to have been taken by the accused or associates of his from around the world. The pictures involve approximately 25 young boys either posing in various stages of undress, or involved in sex acts with other boys or men, thus constituting child pornography. Several of the victims are believed to be living in Canada, Israel, Ukraine and Russia, but remain unidentified.
Chat logs, emails and documents recovered from the accused’s computer reveal that he was exchanging child pornography with men all over the world. The accused and these men had discussions about having sex with children in Canada and elsewhere in the world, and discussed how to bring children into Canada from other parts of the world.
Child pornography pictures of one victim, known only as Pasha, show this child being sexually abused beginning at the age of about 7, and continuing until he was about 16. Some of these pictures were taken in Toronto by the accused when Pasha was in Toronto during the summer months of 2001 and 2002. Investigators also have pictures of other unknown boys, obviously taken in Toronto. (Local landmarks in backgrounds).
Criminal Code charges have now been laid against Levshin in relation to a 10-year-old Toronto victim he knew. Five different assaults took place in 2003 and 2004 in Toronto and Ukraine.
Vitaly Levshin, 46, years, of Toronto, has been charged with:
(1) Sexual Assault(2) Sexual Interference(3) Making Child Pornography(4) Possession of Child Pornography.
Levshin has been living in the Toronto area since 2000.
He is originally from Ukraine and is believed to have also lived in or travelled to Russia, Moldova, Israel and the United States.
Levshin was active in the Russian and Ukrainian communities in Toronto. He was employed as a pianist and played various venues in the Toronto area. He placed advertisements in Russian-language newspapers seeking to employ young boys to assist with his piano performances.
He has been detained in custody and his next court appearance is a video remand on Thursday, January 27, 2005, 301 Court, North York.
This investigation was a culmination of good police work, excellent teamwork and communication between the TPS Fugitive Squad, the CBSA, the TPS Sex Crimes Unit, Child Exploitation Section and 32 Division YB.
There is no doubt that without this team effort, and the tenacious pursuit of this fugitive, Vitaly Levshin would have continued to perpetrate his horrific crimes on children, not only in Toronto, but around the world through the distribution of child pornography.
Anyone with information regarding Levshin and his activities is asked to contact Detective Constable John Menard of the Child Exploitation Section at 416-808-7985.
Constable Kristine Bacharach, Corporate Communications, for Detective Sergeant Paul Gillespie, Sex Crimes Unit.
|By Yuval Yoaz|
Ha'aretz - February 22, 2005
The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court sentenced 52-year-old Shimon Ben-Tov to 16 years in prison Wednesday, and an additional 1.5 years suspended, for sexually assaulting minors on several occasions between 1998 and 2004.
On two separate occasions, the Jerusalem resident persuaded a 10-year-old and 12-year-old child to come to his home and play computer games, during which he began fondling their genitalia and even persuaded them to perform oral sex on him.
He also was convicted of sodomizing children in several instances while video taping them, and attempting to earn a profit by publishing the videos on the internet.
"The acts of the defendant provide a window for his distorted soul," wrote judges Zvi Segel, Yoram Noam, and Rafi Carmel. "The fact that he was not satisfied with fulfilling his dark urges, and even aspired to make a profit by turning his perversion into hard currency, demonstrates that the defendant lost all sense of morality, and sacrificed himself to evil, in which the souls and bodies of young children served him as legitimate tools for the fulfillment of his needs ? both sexual and financial."