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A senior police commander who was fired last year for sexual misconduct will face charges in a police disciplinary court, the police said in a statement on Tuesday.
Asst.-Ch. Hagai Dotan (ret.) was charged by a police disciplinary court with sexual harassment and conduct unbecoming of an officer. The indictment covers six cases, including three cases of sexual harassment and three in which he showed conduct unbecoming of an officer by having romantic relationships with female officers.
In late February, the Justice Ministry announced that it had decided to close the criminal case against Dotan, but that it would recommend disciplinary charges against him.
At the time, the ministry said the decision to settle for a disciplinary trial was influenced by the fact that Dotan had already been terminated by the police and that the alleged harassment was verbal and “not especially severe,” according to the ministry’s statement.
In addition, there was not a significant age difference between the police commander and the complainants, nor was there any evidence that his relationship with them affected decisions he made regarding their employment with the police, the ministry said.
When the allegations against Dotan went public last year he was the eighth assistant chief – the highest rank in the police after commissioner – who had been dismissed or resigned following sexual misconduct complaints in only a year and a half.
News that Dotan would face a disciplinary court came a week after it was reported that Israel Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Roni Alsheich told a police meeting held for International Women’s Day that the agency would no longer investigate anonymous sexual harassment complaints issued against commanders.
Alsheich said that such complaints were being exploited as part of a “culture of settling accounts” in the Israel Police.
The statement by Alsheich drew widespread condemnation from MKs and women’s groups, as well as the Justice Ministry’s Police Investigative Department, which said that it would investigate any complaint it receives regardless of how it is submitted, just as it did before.