Former Israeli president awaits rape case sentence

Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav will learn Tuesday whether he will
go to jail on a rape conviction in a case that has already made history
in Israel.

The former head of state is the highest-ranking Israeli
official ever to be convicted of a crime. He faces up to 16 years in

His conviction was seen as a victory for the Israeli legal
system and for women’s rights in a decades-long struggle to chip away
at the nation’s macho culture, which once permitted political and
military leaders great liberties. At the same time, it left some
Israelis equally saddened to see a symbol of the state tarnished.

was convicted in December of two counts of raping an employee when he
was tourism minister in 1998. The court also convicted him of sexual
harassment against two other women who worked for him when he was
president, from 2000 to 2007.

The presidency is a mostly
ceremonial position in Israel, traditionally given to elder statesmen as
a reward for a lifetime of public service.

Details surfaced in
2006 when Katsav complained that a female employee was trying to
blackmail him. The woman went to police with her side of the story,
listing a series of alleged sexual assaults. Other women later came
forward with other complaints of sexual abuse by Katsav.

Katsav has denied all allegations from the beginning, say… >>>

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