The Supreme Court ruled on Monday to increase the prison term of a man convicted
of raping a teenage hitchhiker from four years to six.
District Court sentenced the defendant – who has not been named – to four years
in prison in 2010, and ordered him to pay the complainant NIS 30,000
Both the defendant – who has not been named – and the state
appealed against the prison sentence.
The defendant argued the four-year
prison term was too harsh and the state contended it was too
According to the indictment, the defendant picked up the
complainant, a 16-year-old high school student, outside Beit Shemesh in the
early hours of the morning in August 2009, and offered to drive her home to
Moshav Zecharya. However, during the trip the defendant offered to take the
teenager to his home in Moshav Tirosh, but the complainant refused.
defendant questioned the teenager about her sexual history, and she refused to
The defendant took her to Moshav Tirosh, where he gave her an
alcoholic drink, before he drove her to an isolated spot and sexually attacked
her, injuring her.
The court rejected the defendant’s arguments that he
had not raped the complainant, and that the sexual contact had been
The court also dismissed an argument that because the
complainant had complained about an earlier, unconnected rape that had not
occurred, her testimony was unreliable and followed a pattern of behavior,
possibly motivated by fear of displeasing her mother.
In rejecting the
appeal, the panel of justices – Edna Arbel, Salim Joubran and Neal Handel –
ruled unanimously to increase the defendant’s sentence.
In her part of
the ruling, Arbel said that the increased prison term reflected the
circumstances of the rape, in which the victim was a high school student who
trusted the defendant, who abused that trust to commit sexual violence. Arbel
also said the harsher prison sentence reflected the impact of the crime on the
victim’s life, and added that the original four-year term had not met the
intention of the legislature regarding crimes of this type.
punishment imposed on a defendant for such serious crimes are aimed at sending a
message that protects women’s autonomy over their bodies and her honor, and to
encourage women to come forward and complain about such offenses, despite the
many difficulties involved,” Arbel said.
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