Name of doctor arrested for sexual assault, rape of patients released

Prof. Arie Levine, 64-years-old, was arrested following a lengthy undercover operation by Israel Police.

Prof. Arie Levine following his arrest on Monday, October 4, 2021. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
Prof. Arie Levine following his arrest on Monday, October 4, 2021.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Prof. Arie Levine, director of gastroenterology and pediatric nutrition at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, was arrested on Sunday for sexual assault and rape of patients, some minors, under the guise of medical treatment.

The 64-year-old professor is known as one of the world's leading researchers in the field of intestinal diseases. Also the owner of a private practice, Levine was arrested following a lengthy undercover operation by Israel Police.

Several patients, as well as family members of patients, claimed during the investigation that Levine sexually assaulted them while presenting the assault as a procedure of diagnosis and medical treatment. He is also suspected of raping a minor under the age of 14.

The women assaulted were "discouraged from complaining to police as the physician is in a senior position at the hospital," a source at Israel Police told Walla. "A pattern arose of a man, a senior doctor, abusing his power and experience to sexually assault women," the source added.

Levine has denied the rape accusations. "Everything I did was part of a medical procedure. I deny any attempt of sexual assault," Levin reportedly told police officers during his investigation. Levine is also suspected of committing indecent acts on several women and girls over the past decade.

 Prof. Arie Levine, following his arrest on Monday, October 4, 2021. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV) Prof. Arie Levine, following his arrest on Monday, October 4, 2021. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Wolfson Medical Center released a statement on Levine's arrest, saying it is "shocked" by the allegations made towards the professor.

"Wolfson Medical Center follows a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual violence and any behavior that does not meet the ethical standard," the statement read. The hospital also noted it "was not aware of the suspicions until today."

Meital, a former patient of Levine's, gave an interview to Ynet, giving a detailed account of her experience of being sexually harassed by Levine.

"He told me to get undressed and started checking my lower body...he did not have to do it, I know exactly what needs to be done," Meital told Ynet. "I asked myself why he did that to me," she added.

"Levine tried kissing and hugging me, I pushed him back. He has attempted to contact me several times since..it's as if he was hunting me."

"He took advantage of me because he knew I needed him," said Meital. "I want him to be punished," she concluded.

Hagit Peer, president of Na’amat, Israel’s largest women’s movement, released a statement on Levine's defense, calling it an "insult to the victims and an insult to everyone's intelligence."

"This a well-known tactic of sexual offenders everywhere - claiming to behave in a normative, accepted manner as an attempt to justify their actions," Peer said.