Ex-Israeli President Convicted of Rape

Moshe Katsav faces between 4 and 16 years in prison
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2010 3:51 AM CST
Updated Dec 30, 2010 6:38 AM CST
Ex Israeli Prez Convicted of Rape
Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav arriving at the court in Tel Aviv today.    (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Former Israeli president Moshe Katsav likely faces four to 16 years in prison after being convicted of raping an employee in 1998 when he was a Cabinet minister, reports the AP. Katsav was president of Israel from 2000 to 2007, but resigned two weeks before his term expired under a plea bargain that would have required him to admit to lesser charges of sexual misconduct. But in a dramatic reversal in April 2009, Katsav rejected the deal, which would have kept him out of jail, and vowed to clear his name in court.

According to the indictment, Katsav forced one woman to the floor of his office at the Tourism Ministry in 1998 and raped her. A second time that year, he summoned her to a Jerusalem hotel to go over paperwork and raped her on the bed in his room. The indictment alleged that Katsav tried to calm his victim by saying: "Relax, you'll enjoy it." Although the Israeli presidency is largely a ceremonial position, these are the most serious charges ever leveled against a senior official. Though he can appeal, legal experts say it's unlikely such a sweeping conviction would be overturned.
(More Moshe Katsav stories.)

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