Sexual harassment victim [Illustrative].
(photo credit: INIMAGE)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s former driver was sentenced to 27 years in prison by the Jerusalem District Court on Sunday for hundreds of sexual assaults and rapes against several minors, mostly relatives of his, over 21 years.
In addition, the court also fined 53-year-old Ilan Shmuel from Zecharya NIS 940,000 for a September conviction for crimes against seven different victims from 1988 to 2006.
Also, from 2007 to 2009, Shmuel allegedly sexually assaulted A.A. (also referred to in the indictment as G.G.), a friend of his daughter who was only nine years old at the time.
The sentence was unusually harsh compared with others who have committed similar crimes and indicated the court was calling for stiffer sentences for underage sex crimes – an ongoing public debate.
The narrative of the indictment goes as follows: With one family member, B.B., who was 12 years old, Shmuel sexually assaulted and raped her dozens of times starting in 1988 over a one- to two-year period at B.B.’s grandparent’s house.
The sexual assaults included forcing her to learn a variety of sexual skills, while assuring her that men she had sexual relations with later in life would appreciate that “you are already experienced.”
In one incident where Shmuel raped B.B., he told her she would enjoy it, but when she cried out in pain, he merely told her “it will be over soon.”
While driving B.B. home, Shmuel told her he had just “lost control” but that it “would not happen again,” and that she “should not tell anyone.”
However, Shmuel continued to rape B.B. repeatedly in the future.
From 1991-1995, Shmuel sexually assaulted C.C., a family member who at the time was age 11, dozens of times and in numerous ways at her house.
In 1996, Shmuel sexually assaulted D.D., a family member who at the time was age nine, numerous times and in a variety of ways, both at his house and in his car.
From 2004-2006, Shmuel sexually assaulted E.E., a family member who at the time was age 11, numerous times and in a variety of ways, while at his house. In some cases, E.E. was unable to perform as Shmuel demanded, but he continued sexually assaulting her.
Shmuel also raped and sexually assaulted F.F. and G.G., who were also minors, while F.F. was another family member and G.G. was a friend of a family member.
According to media reports, Shmuel was Netanyahu’s driver until 2011, when he was removed from the post after the office discovered that he was being investigated for sex crimes.
The Prime Minister’s Office has not commented on the case other than to say in 2014 that once they were told about the allegations, they reported the matter to the relevant authorities and that Shmuel was placed on leave.