The deputy commander of a military base in northern Israel was recently convicted of indecent conduct and obstructing an investigation after sexually harassing a female corporal while on patrol in his vehicle.
A military judge in Haifa sentenced the captain to menial military duty at a base for 30 days and ordered him to pay NIS 2,000 in compensation to the corporal who reported his actions. He was also demoted two ranks, but was not sentenced to any jail time.
According to the indictment letter, the officer assaulted the young woman while on patrol together, when he tried to put his hand under her shirt and kissed her on the lips while trying to force his tongue in her mouth.
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"He stopped the jeep at a look-out point, took off both our seat-belts and turned off the engine," said the accusing corporal. "He attacked me, like, came on top of me... and held my left arm while trying to kiss me forcefully with his tongue, but I closed my mouth tight."
The indictment read that she resisted him and he stopped, but then tried again a few minutes later. "I tried to fend him off and I said to him, 'What, are you crazy?' but he reacted calmly, like his behavior was normal," said the young woman.
The corporal continued on to tell about her captain's second attempt to force himself on her before telling her to never mention the incident to anyone. According to her comments she agreed not to tell anyone out of fear and the two drove back to the base.
Days afterward she told her friend about what had happened and filed a report with the Military Police. Since making the complaint she says that her mental situation has deteriorated and she requires psychological care.
The officer denied her version of the story and insinuated that she was making it all up to get out of guard duty citing that she had tried several times to get official exemption from guard duty, but he had refused.
"It's been five years that my wife and I have been undergoing fertility treatment and when she was finally pregnant the fetus fell during the third month while this case was happening," he said in court.
"I've also had people shoot at my house and set fire to the family vehicle in the village where I live because of my choice to serve in the IDF," said the officer.
The prosecution demanded heavier sentencing from the court. "The convicted hasn't expressed any empathy to the victim while he stands by his denial and doesn't take any responsibility," lawyers told the court.
Ilan Katz, the lawyer representing the defendant noted that his client has no former convictions on his record.