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Court: Former Israeli president guilty of rape, sexual harassment

Kaiser

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Court: Former Israeli president guilty of rape, sexual harassment



(CNN) -- A Tel Aviv district court Thursday found former Israeli president Moshe Katsav guilty of multiple charges of rape and sexual harassment.
The case involved three women -- two in the president's office and one in the tourism ministry.​


In total, the three-judge panel found Katsav guilty of two charges of rape, two charges of forceful sexual harassment and one charge of sexual harassment.​


Katsav left the court without saying a word, but his son defended him.​


"We will continue to be proud of our father ... the whole nation will know that my father is innocent," said son Ariel Katsav. "This is a difficult verdict. It is difficult for the family."​


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it's a "sad day" for Israel.​


"The court today stated two clear and unequivocal messages about the equality of all before the law and about a woman's right concerning her own body, Netanyahu said in a statement.​


Katsav had agreed in 2007 to plead guilty to lesser charges and pay a fine to avoid jail time, but pulled out of the deal when it came time to enter his plea.​


The plea bargain caused a public storm in Israel, mainly because it did not include charges of rape, contrary to what had been suggested in a draft indictment.​


Katsav, of the center-right Likud Party, was president of Israel from 2000 to 2007. He was minister of tourism before that. The charges stem from allegations made against him in both jobs.​

He resigned the presidency in June 2007 because of the sexual assault allegations.
http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/12/30/israel.katsav.verdict/index.html?hpt=T2
Wow, a president of a country charged with rape.. who would expect that.