New details are emerging about the recent “rape by deception” case in Israel. The Mideast Youth blog discusses a report by Haaretz that the victim had been brutally raped and the prosecution’s decision to charge the accused with “rape by deception” was part of a plea bargain with the defense.
This July, Israeli and world media enthusiastically covered a peculiar verdict issued by an Israeli court, sentencing a Palestinian man to 18 months in prison for impersonating a Jewish bachelor and under that guise convincing a Jewish woman to have consensual sex with him. The accusations of racism were flung forcefully at the woman and the Israeli judiciary, despite the focus of the verdict on the marital status of the man and not his race. “All men should be jailed if lying is a crime”, commentators chirped. The media didn’t bother asking why Kashur was initially charged with non-consensual rape, and why he agreed to the plea bargain.
Last week, Haaretz daily published a long expose on the matter (my full translation below), revealing what was behind the plea agreement. The report shows, that the victim, B., was raped by her father since she was six-years-old, and was later forced into prostitution by him. At the time of the rape, B. was staying in a women’s shelter after another sexual assault by her father. According to B.’s testimony, first revealed in the Haaretz report, after Kashur claimed that he was a Jewish bachelor, he enticed her to come into a stairwell in a Jerusalem building, where he brutally raped her. B. was left bleeding, beaten up and half naked by Kashur.
Following the rape, B. was hospitalized in a mental institution, where she was investigated by the police. The Prosecutor’s office decided to charge Kashur with rape and sexual assault based on B.’s testimony and other evidence. When B. later appeared in Court to give her testimony, which was confused and contradictory at times, she was confronted by the Defense attorney with her past occupation as a prostitute and her father’s abuse and rape from an early age. The court appearance left B. severely traumatized. When the Defense learned that B. previously filed 14 complaints against her father and other men for sexual assault, it asked to cross-examine B. once again about the past complaints, while focusing on a number of them that didn’t result in an indictment and convictions due to contradictions in her story. The Defense planned to use B.’s past complaints to shatter her credibility. Wanting to avoid another traumatizing event, the Prosecution formulated a plea bargain with the Defense that reduced the charges to “rape by deception”. Essentially, using the threat of once again subjecting a vulnerable rape victim to a traumatizing interrogation, the Defense was able to reach a plea agreement with greatly reduced charges, which didn’t correspond with the facts of the incident.
The Israeli media has failed to thoroughly investigate this matter, resulting in widespread victimization of a rapist and mockery of the “gullible” woman. B. was victimized and abused by her surrounding from an early age, and unfortunately, the Israeli and foreign media, pundits and the blogosphere, victimized her once again.
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