Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Israeli Women’s Groups Decry Lenient Rape Sentence of Community Service

A Tel Aviv court’s decision Monday to sentence a convicted rapist to community service rather than jail has sparked a storm of protest among rape victims’ groups and a Facebook page calling for the resignation of one of the judges.

However, some legal experts say that the lenient verdict is not unreasonable given the circumstances. 

Yaniv Nahman was originally indicted on three charges of rape, attempted rape two counts of indecent acts and dozens of instances of invasion of privacy. Police also suspect Nahman drugged the women, but because this could not be proven by lab testing, it was not included in the indictment.

Before the evidentiary phase of the trial, Nahman reached a plea bargain with the prosecution in which the indictment was significantly changed, and included only one count of a forced indecent act and one count of rape. Nahman pleaded guilty to carrying out forced sexual acts on a woman with whom he had been in a sexual relationship for years before the incident.

One complainant refused to testify in court and problems with the evidence emerged with regard to another woman’s complaint. [...]

Dr. Dana Hadar Danzig Rosenberg of Bar-Ilan University agreed. “Any case of rape is very serious. But when one reads the verdict, one must understand that it has to relate to the specific case…If I were the judge I would have given a harsher sentence, but this is not an extreme case, considering that the offender was in jail for six months and underwent rehabilitation. From the perspective of the victims I actually think that jail is not the solution. Sometimes an apology and compensation are more significant.”

The prosecution said it would appeal the sentence.

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