Jewish Agency envoy nabbed for sexual assault

Suspect, who was apprehended upon his return to Israel, says sexual relations were not coerced.

The Jewish Agency's representative to Germany and Austria was arrested in Israel earlier this month for allegedly sexually assaulting an office employee, police said Monday. The suspect, Yigal Greenstein, 55, who served as the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency's immigration envoy in Berlin, is suspected of sexually molesting a female employee several times last year, Jerusalem police spokeswoman Sigal Toledo said. The suspect, who was apprehended at Ben-Gurion Airport upon his return to Israel earlier this month, denies the allegations against him, and said that the pair's sexual relations were consensual, Toledo said. He was subsequently placed under house arrest, and ordered to stay away from his Berlin office for 10 days, she said. He is not currently in detention. A court gag order which had been imposed on the case was partially lifted on Monday. The abuse case came to light after the alleged victim filed a complaint with Jerusalem police after she was fired from her job, officials said. The woman, who by court order cannot be identified, is an Israeli in her 30s who is married to a German, and worked in the Jewish Agency's Berlin office. Most of the alleged assaults occurred in his office, while others allegedly took place in his home, officials said. The Jewish Agency emissary is suspected of sodomy, and exploiting his position as her boss. No indictment has been filed in the case to date. Greenstein's lawyer, Boaz Gutman, asserted that the complaints against his client were "baseless," noting that the woman did not file a complaint with police in Germany, where the offense allegedly took place. A Jewish Agency spokesman declined comment, citing the ongoing police investigation.