Top IDF officer gets 6 years for rape

Col. Atef Zaher demoted to rank of private; court rejects appeal request.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
September 29, 2006 11:02
1 minute read.
rape victim 88

rape victim 88. (photo credit: )

 
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The Military Appeals Court at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv sentenced Col. Atef Zahar to six years in prison Friday for rapin a female soldier who had served under his command. The court also ordered that Zaher be demoted to private and pay the victim NIS 35,000 in compensation, and rejected his request to submit an appeal to the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, Zahar's lawyer, Avigdor Feldman, announced that Atef intended to appeal to the Supreme Court. The judges, headed by court president Maj.-Gen. Yishai Bar, said Atef had "roughly trampled the complainant's body, turned her into a sex object, darkly used her innocence to satisfy his sexual urges." Zaher was accused last year of raping a 20-year-old woman identified as "M," and of sexually harassing other female soldiers between January 2003 and August 2004. In September 2005, he was convicted on five counts of illegal sexual intercourse, four counts of indecent behavior, attempted indecent behavior and conduct unbecoming an officer. Eight months earlier, Zaher was charged on 10 counts of rape as well as several related charges. However, he was acquitted of the rape charges at the September 2005 hearing after the court said prosecutors failed to prove the acts took place against the female soldier's will.

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