Prosecutor asks court to 'make a statement' by convicting Ramon of forcibly kissing woman

"The public is expecting a normative declaration on the part of the court that the protection of a person's autonomy over his body is absolute and that when a woman decides to joke with someone or even to be photographed embracing someone, she does not lose the right to decide what will be done with her body or the right that others will not ignore what she wants," prosecutor Ariella Antler-Segal told the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court in the summation of her case against former justice minister Haim Ramon. Ramon, 56, is on trial for allegedly using force to kiss a 21-year-old female soldier in the Prime Minister's Office in Tel Aviv on July 12. Antler-Segal said that the court must convict Ramon on the basis of the evidence and because of the normative principle involved in the case. "The prosecution asks the court in this case to make a normative statement that a person with the status of the defendant, in the circumstances surrounding the incident, cannot under any circumstances regard a two-minute conversation and the taking of two photographs as an invitation on the part of the woman or her consent to a sexual act," Antler-Segal said. "[Especially] when the woman is a soldier, a 21-year-old officer and the defendant is the justice minister, 56 years old, who represents the apex of government power; when the incident takes place in the Prime Minister's Office, at arm's length from a meeting of the security forum which is about to decide to go to war; where the place is, one could almost say, a public place; where the incident, as described by the plaintiff, occurs when the defendant seizes her face without leaving her any chance to express disagreement; when the kiss took her by surprise; when the plaintiff did not have the physical space or the time to react or express herself." Antler-Segal also said the evidence proved that the plaintiff's account of the events was true and that Ramon had "seized her face, brought her close to him, kissed him, inserted his tongue in her mouth and that the kiss was against her will, that it totally surprised her, that she did not have a chance to react because of the element of surprise and because he had seized her face." The prosecutor added that Ramon had failed to disprove the plaintiff's account and that several witnesses had provided testimony supporting her story. Ramon's lawyer, Dan Scheinemann, was due to present his summary later in the day. Another day of hearings is scheduled for next week, after which the court will then adjourn to decide a verdict.