Veteran Israeli actor Hanan Goldblatt's lengthy sexual assault trial came to an end Thursday, as the Tel Aviv District Court found him guilty of two counts of rape, sodomy, two counts of indecent assault, aggravated fraud, an indecent act and abuse of authority.
Goldblatt was acquitted of two counts of attempted indecent assault, one count of assault, one count of attempted rape and one count of fraud.
In August of 2005, three young women pressed charges against the actor, claiming that Goldblatt, who was their acting coach at the time, invited them to his home and proceeded to sexually assault them.
A striking resemblance. Goldblatt (L) in court (Photo: Yaron Brener)
Five more women soon pressed charges as well, but the statute of limitations made two of the cases impossible to prosecute, and the final indictment included various sexual assault and fraud charges against six women. Goldblatt pled not guilty on all counts, but the court found him guilty in five of the cases.
The cases, noted the ruling, bore striking resemblance to one another: "(Goldblatt) used to lure young girls by promising to mentor them and making them believe their professional future depended on him," said the court.
The prosecution asked the court to remand Goldblatt to immediate custody, adding that he constitutes a flight risk. The defense asked the court to deny the motion, saying Goldblatt "can barely afford a cab."
The court ordered the actor be remanded to house arrest pending his sentencing hearing.