"Enough. Stop it. I'm not interested. I don't want to," complainant A. from the Tourism Ministry said to former President Moshe Katsav as he raped her for the first time.
According to the full verdict in Katsav's case,
which was published Sunday, the judges characterized complainant A. as someone who aims to "please others" and said "the perception that her livelihood depended on her relations with the defendant caused her to continue treating him with respect, as ridiculous as it may sound."
Katsav was recently convicted on two counts of rape, indecent assault and other sexual offenses.
The first rape took place in Katsav's office during his tenure as tourism minister, after the two returned from an event in a Tel Aviv park. A. said Katsav asked her to accompany him to his office because he had forgotten something. She was sitting on a chair when Katsav suddenly began touching her. "He tried to take my pants off," the complainant recalled. "He kept trying to pull them down, and that is when I began to struggle with him. He pulled them down and I pulled them up."
Eventually A. found herself on the floor. "I don’t remember if he shoved me or if I fell because I was sitting at the edge of the chair. I only remember that I was on the floor. I said 'I don't want to. Stop. I'm not interested'. I tried to resist with my body."
"I was afraid of getting pregnant," she said. "I don’t remember exactly how it ended, it ended there. I either pushed him away or turned around."
Complainant A. told the court that she went into denial. "The next day I went to the office as if nothing happened," she said. But Katsav raped her again two months later at a Jerusalem hotel. "He asked me to go upstairs to his room," A. testified. "I thought we would be in his room for a second and go back down to the lobby. When I entered I saw he wasn't wearing any pants. His shirt was long and covered his underwear…I looked away."
Katsav after guilty verdict (Photo: Avisag Shear Yeshuv)
According to her testimony, A. sat at the edge of the bed, anticipating that Katsav would get dressed. But the former president sat next to her and began touching the upper part of her body. "He started pulling my pants, like the first time. He pulled and I resisted…Until he managed to take them off."
"I told him, 'Let go, I'm not interested, I don't want to.' But Katsav overpowered her and raped her.
The complainant said the former president did not ejaculate in either incident. "I was angry with myself," she said. "How did I not see it coming? How come no red lights turned on in my head?"
Complainant A. testified that Katsav also asked her to wear a skirt to work on a number of occasions and would rub against her and touch her, including her backside.
During their phone conversations, Katsav would ask A. to lie in bed and undress.
In the verdict, judges George Karra, Miriam Sokolov and Judith Shevach said, "We did not get the impression that (complainant A.'s) testimony was a false account of severe rapes that never occurred, but that we were dealing with a truthful account which was being revealed in stages, part by part, as is characteristic of sexual assault victims."
Katsav's version, however, did not convince the court, and his claims were proven false. The former president denied raping complainant A. at the hotel, saying "I didn’t stay in hotel rooms in Jerusalem, as opposed to other ministers who lived outside Jerusalem."
The judges said Katsav also presented a journal in an attempt to show that he did not stay at the hotel. The former president said he would update the journal everyday, sometimes retroactively, and considered it a piece of evidence that proved his innocence, the judges wrote.
However, a cross-examination revealed that Katsav's datebook entries were inaccurate.
In her testimony, complainant A. also addressed a Happy New Year's letter she wrote to the former president. According to her, Katzav pleaded with her to write the letter. She said the former president told her "write that you love me," and snatched the letter from her. A. said she had no intention of giving the letter to Katsav, but he insisted.
The judges wondered why Katsav held on to the letter for years, and stated that he wanted to use it "as defense on judgment day."
They said the letter was not sexual in any way.
Aviad Glickman and Naama Cohen-Friedman contributed to the report