Erez Efrati, a former bodyguard of IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi who was convicted of sodomy, spoke during the sentencing phase of his trial Sunday.
"I ask the court's mercy," said Efrati, saying that he had never imagined standing in that situation. He said he felt deep remorse and compassion towards the victim, along with shock and fear for himself. "Since that bloody morning, I wake up filled with feelings of sorrow and anger at myself for getting into this situation," Efrati said.
The incident in question occurred late last December, after Efrati left his bachelor party at a strip club near the Tel Aviv Port. He allegedly followed the 22-year-old plaintiff to her car at a nearby parking lot near the Reading power plant and dragged her from the car to the banks of the Yarkon River, where he allegedly attempted to rape her as he beat her and threatened to kill her.
Bystanders who saw the woman struggling with Efrati in the bushes came to her rescue, and Efrati fled into the water, where he hid until the police found him.