Sexual harassment victim [Illustrative].
(photo credit: INIMAGE)
Coastal District head Asst.- Ch. Hagai Dotan is being investigated for sexually harassing female officers who worked under his command, it was cleared for publication on Thursday.
If Dotan is removed from service, he will be the eighth officer with the rank of assistant chief to face such a fate in less than a year-and-a-half, including four who resigned or were fired because of sexual misconduct investigations or charges.
The allegations against Dotan include acts believed to have been committed over the past year, when the police were already under the spotlight for a series of sex scandals involving senior officers.
The Justice Ministry, which said that Dotan is suspected of “sexually harassing a number of female officers who serve under his command, while exploiting his position,” announced the investigation against him on Wednesday.
Dotan’s identity was first reported at the same time that it was revealed that an additional senior officer, Cmdr. Moshe Ivgy, head of the Beersheba police station, is also under investigation for sexual misconduct. In Ivgy’s case the complainant is a woman who was in the fifth month of her pregnancy at the time the alleged abuse took place.
Ivgy was questioned on Tuesday for four hours at the Justice Ministry’s Police Investigative Department. The unit is also collecting evidence about possible other female officers whom Ivgy may have harassed.
In a speech Wednesday night in Herzliya, Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino said that police are “dealing with some very embarrassing and difficult incidents,” but said that the high number of episodes being reported is largely indicative of the steps police are taking to uproot sexual harassment and misconduct within the organization.
In recent statements he has addressed the public and implored citizens not to let the repeated scandals smear their perception of the entire police force.