Ex-Israeli President Katsav Found Guilty in Rape Case

Moshe_KatsavFormer Israeli President Moshe Katsav could spend the last years of his life in jail after he was convicted on Thursday of raping twice one of his female aides when he was still a tourism minister in the late 1990s.

A three-judge panel found the 65-year-old former president guilty on two counts of rape, two counts of sexual assault, and another one for sexual harassment. Court records show that Katsav raped a Tourism Ministry employee twice—at his office and at a hotel room—when he was still holding a Cabinet position in the 90s.

The other charges occurred during Katsav’s reign as president from 2000 to 2007. Katsav resigned his post after the charges were brought against him in 2007, but he was formally charged only last year.

In giving the verdict that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described as a proof of “the equality of all before the law,” the panel said that Katsav’s defense was “riddled with lies.” Katsav, who refused to speak after the verdict was read, could face up to 16 years in prison for the rape charges. Under Israeli law, rape carries a maximum penalty of 16 years.