"It's not a day of mourning and not a day of celebration, but it's another blessed day of doing justice and punishing a sex offender – a rapist disguised as a president," said A. from the President's Residence,
the woman who broke the code of silence and reported her former employer's misconduct.
Addressing former President Moshe Katsav's
sentencing, A. said that the seven years that he will spend in prison will not bring back the years that she had lost, and will not reverse the fact that the pain that she had suffered will affect her for years to come.
"The harm and the misery that I suffered at his hand and at the hand of those close to him, his family and his lawyers, cannot be balanced out even by the most perfect punishment," she said. "However, the heavy price that I had to pay is miniaturized in light of the justice that has been done, and in light of the message that the court sent to the entire public: Not even citizen no.1 is above the law."
On Monday it was reported that A. from the President's Residence intends to sue Katsav for millions in punitive damages for emotional pain and suffering and the loss of the ability to work.
"I am sorry as well as happy to be the one to break the silence and pave the way for all the women who have worked alongside him and had the courage to complain," she noted on Tuesday.
Earlier, A.'s mother said: "After everything he did to my daughter, he should pay for the rest of his life, but there is no doubt that we are happy he was punished and will serve time in prison."
Meanwhile, women's rights organizations voiced their contentment with the sentence. "We are happy that justice has come to light," said Women's International Zionist Organization Chairwoman Yochy Feller. "The justice system in Israel
has shown women who were abused that they have the right to stand up and complain against anyone who abuses them, regardless of his standing or the position that he holds… This is a historic and significant day for women and for democracy in Israel."
Israel Women's Network CEO Nurit Tzur said that the sentence means a victory for men as well as women. "The court has ruled that rape and harassment have no place within the Israeli public, especially to people with authority and in senior positions," she said. "The punishment is a true deterrence against the terrible things that Katsav did to his employees."
A spokesperson for the Association of Rape Crisis Centers also acknowledged that the court has showed the the Israeli people that they have a place to turn to if they are abused. "It also proves that the Israeli justice system is capable of dealing with the unique complexity of sex violation cases, and responding to the special needs of sexual harassment victims," he said.