The Supreme Court reduced the sentence of convicted rapist and serial molester Hanan Goldblatt from seven to six years in prison, in an appeal decision issued
Dismissing dozens of motions by the former television star’s
lawyers to appeal, Justice Uzi Vogleman decided in the end to reduce one of the
charges of which the 69-year-old Goldblatt was convicted from rape to obtaining
a thing by deceit.
In 2008, the Tel Aviv District Court convicted
Goldblatt of raping two young women and of committing indecent acts against
three others. In all of the cases, Goldblatt, who also worked as an acting
teacher, used a similar method of offering the young women private acting
lessons, during which he attempted to commit – and in two cases succeeded in
committing – sexual acts with them.
Goldblatt made up a story that he
wanted to have them try out for a fictitious theatrical project of some sort. In
each case, the victim was to play a young seductress.
Sex with Goldblatt
was supposed to better prepare the aspiring actresses for onscreen love scenes,
which the women were supposed to perform in their auditions.
appeal, Goldblatt’s lawyers attempted to undermine the testimonies of the
victims and introduce doubt as to the justness of the lower court’s decision. In
all but one of the motions, the lawyers failed, and the Supreme Court judges
upheld the District Court’s rulings; however, in one of the motions relating to
Goldblatt’s second rape victim, the Supreme Court modified the
The modified charge had to do with a young woman who, like
the others, had become convinced that Goldblatt had destined her for a leading
role in a television soap opera, and repeatedly agreed to have sex with him in
preparation for the role.
Goldblatt managed to convince the woman that to
be a successful actress and win future roles, she had to become comfortable with
performing intercourse and that having sex with him would help “loosen her
“In April 2004, M.S. came to the appellant’s home in order to
rehearse. The two entered the bedroom, undressed and kissed, and the appellant
asked her to initiate sex between them, since in the proposed role she was
supposed to seduce him. M.S. complied with his instructions and engaged full
intercourse with him, after which the appellant told her he would notify her of
the director’s decision,” read the judge’s ruling.
“Several days later,
the appellant told M.S. that the time had not yet come for a meeting with the
director and that first she had to ‘improve,’ and therefore that they had to
continue practicing sex,” the ruling stated.
According to the facts of
the case, the woman agreed to continue having sex with Goldblatt and did so on
several occasions over the course of the summer.
Goldblatt was originally
convicted of rape, despite the fact that M.S had agreed to have sex with him,
because the consent had been obtained by deceit regarding the nature of the act.
The disagreement between Supreme Court justices Vogleman and Asher Grunis, and
the District Court judge was over whether or not the victim had in fact been
deceived about the nature of the act.
The Supreme Court judges found that
M.S. had not truly been deceived into repeatedly having sex with Goldblatt
purely for the purpose of obtaining the role, since she had been aware of the
personal gratification he received from the act and had continued to have sex
with him even when it was clear that the sex was supposedly meant for her
general improvement as an actress, and not for a specific role.
plaintiff believed the appellant’s falsities regarding the necessity for
looseness and openness between them in order to improve their ability to ‘work’
together and prepare for the role. But this deceit does not touch on the ‘nature
of the act,’ since the subject of the deceit was not the sexual act, but rather
an external goal that got caught up in it, the professional goal,” wrote
In her minority ruling, Justice Edna Arbel wrote that M.S. had
been deceived about the purpose of the sex acts themselves.
believed, due to the duplicitous ploy of the appellant, that the sole purpose of
the intercourse was professional and meant to train her for sex scenes in the
anticipated soap opera and for her expected audition.”
With the rape
charges reduced, Goldblatt was sentenced to six years in prison.
into account time served and a third of the sentence reduced for good behavior,
Goldblatt is expected to be released in 2013.
“The Supreme Court’s
decision is important and strengthens the knowledge that we are dealing with a
serial sex offender who harmed young women, some of whom were minors,” wrote the
Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel in response to the ruling.
“Goldblatt, like all sex offenders, belongs in jail, and the court has
understood that, too.”