Friday, March 15, 1991

Case of Adrian Schwartz

Case of Adrian Schwartz

Rishon Lezion, Israel
Chess Master - Tel Aviv, Israel
Former Israeli Backgammon Champion - Tel Aviv, Israel

Former Israeli backgammon champion Adrian Schwartz was sentenced to 25 years in prison in for raping a 10 year-old-girl and a 23-year-old woman.

There are several people who go by the name of Adrian Schwartz. The individual on this page was born around 1944 in Israel.

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Table of Contents:    

  1. Backgammon Alibi  (03/15/1991)

  1. Former backgammon champ gets 25-year sentence for rape (1/28/1992) 

  1. What happened to the sperm traces? (12/14/2003)

  1. Retried rapist convicted in TA court (06/19/2009)


  1. Prosecution demands restrictions for pedophile finishing 10-year jail term (08/18/2010)
  2. Convicted paedophile to be released under house arrest (08/26/2010)
  3. State seeks night curfew for rapist set to be released (08/27/2010)


Backgammon Alibi
The Jerusalem Post - March 15, 1991

Adrian Schwartz, 47, of Rishon Lezion, was yesterday remanded in custody for four days on suspicion of having raped 14 girls during the past six years. Schwartz denied the charge in the Tel Aviv District Court, saying that since 1978 he has devoted all his time to playing backgammon, becoming Israel's champion in the game.

Former backgammon champ gets 25-year sentence for rape
The Jerusalem Post - January 28, 1992

Former Israeli backgammon champion Adrian Schwartz was sentenced yesterday to 25 years in prison yesterday in Tel Aviv District Court for raping a 10 year-old-girl and a 23-year-old woman.

Schwartz was accused of exploiting the innocence of the girl last February to lure her to a Jerusalem shelter where he raped her.

He was also convicted of luring a young woman to a dark place by telling her his girlfriend needed help, then raping her. The incident occurred in 1985, but the woman involved still requires 
psychological assistance, and only recently married.

Schwartz was acquitted on five other rape and sexual assault charges. In 1968 he was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment after being convicted of nine sexual assaults, including three rapes.

Tel Aviv District Court Judge Amnon Strashnov described Schwartz as having a brilliant but unfortunately twisted mind, and termed him "a wolf in sheep's clothing."

Strashnov said Schwartz did not want to learn or was not capable of learning the proper lesson from his previous prison term, and stricter punishments for rapists who are repeat offenders are warranted.


What happened to the sperm traces?
By Moshe Gorali - Ha'aretz
Ha'Aretz - Sunday, December 14, 2003 - Kislev 19, 5764

Adrian Schwartz was sentenced in February 1991 to a 20-year prison term for the rape of an eleven-year-old girl. He was convicted by Tel Aviv's District Court, and then lost an appeal in the Supreme Court. Now he's fighting for a retrial, staking his claim on the mini-revolution in judicial processes that has been caused by the increased use of DNA testing. He believes that sperm samples from the scene of the crime can prove his innocence, and demands that the police produce evidence needed for the DNA tests - evidence the police have yet to provide.

In 2001, Supreme Court Justice Mishael Cheshin reviewed Schwartz's request for a DNA test. For years, the convicted rapist had refused to provide a blood sample to authorities; after he relented, and submitted his request for DNA tests, Justice Cheshin ruled that "in view of the appellant's lack of faith in police authorities, the examination will be conducted at the Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine, which is not a police entity."

But then Schwartz and his attorney, Prof. Kenneth Mann, suffered a major setback. Experts at the Abu Kabir Institute were unable to extract DNA samples from clothing worn by the victim which was provided by the police. The Abu Kabir Institute received the article of clothing after a patch from it which contained sperm had been cut away so that blood tests could be taken by the police force's own department of forensic medicine. It bears mention that during the original hearing held by Justice Cheshin, prosecutor Hedva Baum stated that the amount of remaining sperm traces "is so minuscule that the state might not be able to administer DNA tests."

Frustrated, Schwartz suspects that police and prosecutors have conspired against him by concealing sperm samples that could be used to acquit him. He says: "The police forensic experts stated that sperm isto be found in five different places; but now that materials have been relayed to the Abu Kabir Institute it turns out that there isn't a trace of sperm. How did it disappear? Blood samples which I provided reached the Abu Kabir Institute just a month and a half ago. Apparently they compared them with DNA evidence which they have in their possession, and the results didn't square with their line of prosecution. So then, when they transferred the [clothing] to the Institute, it suddenly turned out that all sperm traces on them had vanished! Perhaps they deliberately destroyed the traces. The sperm traces are from the real rapist. They know that - and my blood sample has been with them for six weeks. Had the blood test and sperm samples matched, wouldn't they be taking all the evidence now to court?"

Attorney Kenneth Mann is somewhat more restrained, but he charges that the state is not cooperating satisfactorily in the execution of the tests. "There are pieces of evidence which were never tested," he says. "These articles never reached the police or the forensic labs ... Also, the patch of clothing which was cut away should have been transferred to the [Abu Kabir] Institute. The state should cooperate in the administration of all the tests, since their results will allow authorities to identify the rapist. It is Schwartz's right to have tests carried out today, since at the time these [DNA] exams could not be administered at a level which is reached today; these tests can acquit him today."

Seven cases; one conviction
Adrian Schwartz is a chess master, and formerly Israel's backgammon champion; in the past, he served a nine-year term for a rape to which he confessed. "It seems that in our country, once somebody is a rapist, he is always a rapist," he complains. In 1978, after being released from prison, he made a living by teaching chess, and also participated in backgammon tournaments in Israel and around the world. "I was Israel's backgammon champion," he recalls, "and I came in third in a world championship held in Monte Carlo. I organized Israel's championship tournament, in conjunction with the Hadashot newspaper."

In the early 1990s, Israeli police dealt with 15 unsolved rape cases. Fourteen of these were committed in the center of the country. Originally police attributed all the unsolved rape cases to Schwartz. But this number gradually dwindled and in the end, he was accused in 7 of the 15 cases. Kenneth Mann believes that it was incorrect to bundle the seven incidents together in one indictment; such a heavy bundle of accusations, he claims, exerts a psychological impact on a judge, and the court is unlikely to acquit a defendant in all seven cases.

As it turned out, Schwartz was acquited in five of the seven cases by a lower court; and the Supreme Court overturned one of the two convictions. All told, out of 15 cases for which he was originally suspected, Schwartz was convicted in just one case of rape. This was the only one of the 15 rapes which was committed in Jerusalem.

A person who played backgammon in a club in Jerusalem saw the police sketch of the alleged rapist in a newspaper, and decided that it resembled his backgammon rival, Schwartz. This man knew about Schwartz's background, and rushed to make his report to the police. Schwartz was arrested, and convicted in this one case. As evidence against him, prosecutors relied heavily on a line-up of pictures, and identification of a wallet. In both cases, the 11-year-old victim did the identification. There was also some circumstantial evidence; and Schwartz's refusal to submit to a blood test might have also harmed hischances in court. He claimed that he refused to submit to the test because he suspected that the police would doctor the evidence.

From the start, Schwartz insisted adamantly that he was innocent. Today, from his cell at the Ayalon Prison he states his case to anyone who will listen, and searches for any legal option that might help him clear his name. He is thoroughly acquainted with the hundreds of pages in his case file, and with all the evidence used in the case. He recites every contradiction in the prosecution's case, and details examples of cases in which Israelis convicted of felonies managed to win retrials, and were eventually acquitted.

Schwartz believes that the recent blood tests should have led to his acquittal. His request to rely on results of examinations which were conducted at his own initiative at private laboratories in England was rejected. Prosecutors believe that these tests were not credible - a position the courts have upheld.

Schwartz: "`A' type blood was found at the scene of the crime, and I have `O' negative. The District Court ordered that my army files be submitted, to clarify my blood type. Then, they pulled off one of their tricks: The file never arrived; and the police forensic expert retracted her original evaluation about the type of blood found at the scene of the crime."

Prof. Tzvi Lipshitz, an expert on blood tests commissioned by the defendant, believes that there was no need to do a second test to clarify the type of blood found at the scene of the crime. The first test should have sufficed, he says, and it worked to the defendant's advantage. Another authority, Prof. Adam Friedman (who is an expert on molecular biology), found inconsistencies between, on the one hand, the results of lab tests of evidence taken from the scene of the crime, and on the other hand, reports submitted to the courts. "The major failing of police forensic experts is that they do not report about findings which they don't like," Friedman says. "I found evidentiary materials that could have helped Schwartz, but which were never disclosed to the court."

Trailing the Western world
When it comes to openness to new testing methods and willingness to grant retrials, Israel's legal community trails behind Western countries. Yet there has been some progress in this area in recent years, and retrial requests were granted in a few well-known criminal cases. The common denominator connecting these retrials was police officers' willingness to disclose the lies and errors made by colleagues. In Schwartz's case, however, there seems to be little chance of police officers admitting mistakes. And he faces the problem of selling to the public explanations which depend on esoteric items such as HR negative, MGP enzyme, and O excretion.

The last factor, for instance, has great import in this case. Schwartz is an "excreter," meaning that his blood type (O) can be identified from an examination of sperm or other bodily substances which he excretes. Israeli police were unable to identify the blood type of the rapist on the basis of sperm left by him at the scene of the crime - in other words, it appears that the perpetrator is not an "excreter." This finding potentially clears Schwartz. Prof. Mann is currently trying to secure expert opinions from the U.S. which, he says, strengthens this line of argument on his client's behalf.

In addition to Mann, Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer supports Schwartz's struggle. Kremnitzer explains: "So long as he refused to provide a blood sample, I was unwilling to help. But since he changed his mind about the blood sample, I have listened to his case attentively. This change warrants more openness from the state. The state's claims about the defendant's refusal to cooperate are no longer relevant, and they are unreasonable in a case in which there is a genuine possibility of proving a man's innocence."

Mann has supported Schwartz's demand for a re-trial since 1995, when he served as the head of Tel Aviv University's Legal Aid program. Representing Schwartz in a Supreme Court appeal, he managed to overturn one of the convictions. He is currently concentrating the effort on the demand for the decisive DNA test. "As things stand now, the prosecution should respond to our request and order the police to find the materials from which DNA samples can be lifted - these include, for example, the article of clothing which was cut away ... In our opinion, there is an obligation to find the procedure which enables us to reach the truth," Mann says.

A Justice Ministry spokesman responds: "Adrian Schwartz was convicted over 10 years ago, on the basis of solid evidence that has nothing to do with biological tests. His appeals and requests were rejected, apart from the particular tests which he has now decided to ask for. With respect to these tests, the court ruled that there is no way to do them; but prosecutors took the exceptional step of assenting to [Schwartz's] request after he reversed his original refusal to submit blood samples. Results of these tests do not suffice to help the convicted man, in terms of his demand for acquittal."

The spokesman continued: "Another request for more tests which was submitted by the prisoner is now pending with the Supreme Court. Prosecutors are expected to submit soon their response to the request."


Retried rapist convicted in TA court

Adrian Schwartz, 65, appealed 1992 conviction but TA court concludes he's guilty of child rape.
Jerusalem Post - June 19, 2009

A Tel Aviv court convicted Adrian Schwartz early this week of raping a child in Jerusalem in 1991, the court announced Thursday. The conviction was Schwartz's second for the crime. He was first convicted in 1992 but was then acquitted after appealing to the High Court of Justice. The indictment against Schwartz, 65, included seven counts of rape, but he was only convicted of one, for seducing a ten-year-old girl he met on the street and raping her in a warehouse in Jerusalem. In September 2005, Supreme Court justice Edmond Levy decided to hold a retrial, after Schwartz insisted for years that his conviction was mistaken. Levy based his decision on an inconclusive DNA test, which found Schwartz's DNA but also someone else's on the scene of the crime, thus opening up the possibility that Schwartz was not exclusively responsible for the crime. During the retrial, the opinions of seven experts, four for the prosecution and three for the defense, were presented. A panel of judges headed by Judge Bracha Ophir-Tom decided that the DNA test could not rule out Schwartz's involvement. After Schwartz was re-convicted, the girl's family thanked the prosecution. "We hope the court will sentence him to a harsh punishment, so that her suffering over the long trial is addressed," said the family. An attorney for the prosecution said the time had come to "adopt the principle used in England and nullify the 'double risk' principle and if there is new evidence, to hold a retrial to convict those wrongly acquitted."


Prosecution demands restrictions for pedophile finishing 10-year jail term 
By Ofra Edelman
Haaretz - August 18, 2010

The prosecution yesterday asked a court to set conditions for the release of Adrian Schwartz, who was convicted of raping a 10-year-old girl in a Jerusalem bomb shelter and sentenced to 20 years in jail.

He is due to be released on September 2.

Schwartz was originally convicted in 1991. He was later granted a retrial on the basis of new DNA evidence that had not been available at the time of his original trial, but ultimately was convicted again. The new evidence did not rule him out as the rapist, the court said in its ruling, and therefore did not suffice to undermine the prosecution's original evidence against him.

Since then, a law has been passed that allows courts to impose restrictive conditions on released sex offenders in order to protect the public. For instance, a court can require the offender to show up at a police station at regular intervals or to hold regular meetings with a parole officer, restrict him from meeting with minors or from going to certain types of places, bar him from being in the vicinity of his victim's home, prevent him from holding certain types of jobs and restrict his possession of sexually arousing material.

Yesterday, the prosecution asked the Tel Aviv District Court to impose such restrictions on Schwartz before his release. As prosecutors noted during his sentencing hearing, he has a history of sexual assaults on young girls, and thus, they argued, he constitutes a real danger to the public.

"There are girls walking around among us who don't know that they are his next victim," prosecutor Yossi Kurtzberg said at that hearing. "The defendant has made a career of sexual crimes. I am trying to prevent his release by any legal means."


Convicted paedophile to be released under house arrest
Jerusalem Post - August 26, 2010

Convicted paedophile Adrian Schwartz, 66, is to be released from prison next week and bound under house arrest, Israel Radio reported on Thursday.  He is also banned from approaching areas in which there are children, such as playgrounds or schools.

Schwartz was convicted last year of raping a child in Jerusalem in 1991. He was first convicted in 2002 but was then aquitted after appealing to the High Court of Justice. 

The indictment against Schwartz, 65, included seven counts of rape, but he was only convicted of one, for seducing a ten-year-old girl he met on the street and raping her in a warehouse in Jerusalem. 

In September 2005, Supreme Court justice Edmond Levy decided to hold a retrial, after Schwartz insisted for years that his conviction was mistaken. Levy based his decision on an inconclusive DNA test, which found Schwartz's DNA but also someone else's on the scene of the crime, thus opening up the possibility that Schwartz was not exclusively responsible for the crime. A panel of judges headed by Judge Bracha Ophir-Tom decided that the DNA test could not rule out Schwartz's involvement.


State seeks night curfew for rapist set to be released
By Ofra Edelman
Haaretz - August 27, 2010

The state is seeking a nighttime curfew for convicted rapist Adrian Schwartz, due to be released next week after serving 20 years in prison for raping a 10-year-old girl. Schwartz is contesting the release condition, arguing he no longer poses a risk to society and that the curfew would impinge on his ability to lead a normal life.

The prosecution asked the Tel Aviv District Court to limit Schwartz in a number of ways: Imposing a nightly curfew between 9 P.M. and 6 A.M. for the duration of one year; banning him from all contact with minors, including through the Internet; banning him from places where minors are likely to congregate; and banning him from contacting his victim and approaching the area where she lives.

Schwartz is also expected to fully cooperate with a parole officer, whose permission he will need to obtain for any job or volunteer work in which he may wish to engage.

"I accept all the conditions except the curfew," Schwartz told Judge George Karra at the hearing. "It's insensitive and contradicts the state's own position. I'm willing to state here that even if a night curfew is not imposed, I won't go near areas where there are minors and won't try to contact minors."

"I want to live a life filled with culture - theater, basketball, chess and so on... I want to live. I don't want to hurt anyone," said Schwartz, 67.

Schwartz's state-appointed attorney, Ofer Ashkenazi, criticized the prosecution for submitting the requests only last week, even though it had been aware for some time that Schwartz was to be released on September 2. He also protested the fact that the state's estimation of the danger his client posed to the public also relied on prior offenses, committed in the 1960s, rather than only on the offense for which he served his latest prison term.

Ashkenazi pointed out that as the crime for which Schwartz was convicted was carried out in the afternoon, constraining his freedom of movement overnight made little sense.

The state said in response that the level of danger a released prisoner presents needed to be estimated as close to the release date as possible.



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