The Justice Ministry announced on Thursday the closing of the sexual harassment case against television journalist and media personality Emmanuel Rosen.
The vague statement said the decision was made taking into account “all of the relevant factors,” adding that both current State Attorney Shai Nitzan and former state attorney Moshe Lador concurred.
The decision follows a series of recent high-profile moves early on in Nitzan’s still-new term as state attorney, including to indict Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto and to refuse to cut a plea bargain with Ehud Olmert’s former top aide Shula Zaken.
The state explained that some of the women who were questioned by police raised a real suspicion of sexual harassment, but those allegations were beyond the statute of limitations for bringing to trial. The statement added that the more recent allegations – involving five incidents – did not meet the high standard for filing a criminal case. The state added that it had learned of other allegations that may have met criminal standards, but those women refused to testify.
Despite disagreeing with the police recommendation to indict, the Justice Ministry defended the police as having thoroughly investigated and analyzed the case.
In November, the State Attorney’s Office signaled that it was unlikely to indict, despite police recommendations.
“The investigation of Emmanuel Rosen was carried out professionally and appropriately, far away from the [media] spotlight while safeguarding the rights of the suspect the entire time,” police said at the time. “This was despite a series of publications, rumors and assessments by self-appointed experts. Police investigators focused on finding the truth and passed the evidence they found in the case to prosecutors.”
The police statement said all its investigations are conducted “with the intention of finding the truth, not an indictment, and it is fitting that everybody in the legal system works independently and makes decisions based on their own professional assessments.”
Police investigators had recommended indicting Rosen on two counts of sexual harassment several months after a number of women who had been his colleagues accused him of a series of sex crimes. The investigation by the National Fraud Investigative unit of the police’s LAHAV 433 branch was completed in the fall, at which point the recommendation to indict was passed on to the State Attorney’s Office.
When the case broke, Israeli media outlets reported on testimony from the alleged victims, who accused Rosen of obsessive sexual harassment and sexual assault. Some were quoted as saying that he could potentially be charged with rape.
In July, Rosen’s media adviser, Ronen Moshe, said he and his client “welcome the opportunity” to present their side of the story as “determined by facts and not rumors and wild incitement.”
“We trust in the police and call for them to unearth the truth,” Moshe said.
Ben Hartman contributed to this story.