IDF commander charged with 79 sexual offenses may receive military pension

If a plea deal is reached, Lt.-Col. Dan Sharoni may receive a military pension in return for admitting to the charges.

 Dan Sharoni, an IDF officer accused of sexual offenses arrives for a court hearing at a military court in HaKirya base, Tel Aviv, December 7, 2021.  (photo credit: AVSHALOM SHOSHONI/FLASH90)
Dan Sharoni, an IDF officer accused of sexual offenses arrives for a court hearing at a military court in HaKirya base, Tel Aviv, December 7, 2021.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SHOSHONI/FLASH90)

An IDF officer charged with close to 80 counts of sexual offenses from photographing female soldiers without their consent is likely to receive economic retirement benefits including a pension from the IDF in a plea bargain with the military prosecutor’s office.

Former IDF 6th District Driving School commander Lt.-Col. Dan Sharoni has been charged with photographing 47 different women without their consent and is now close to reaching a plea deal that will see him receive military retirement benefits in exchange for pleading guilty to the charges.

What are the arguments? 

According to an article published by Ynet on Monday evening, Sharoni is expected to confess, express remorse and willingness to rehabilitate himself. He will compensate his victims with several thousand shekels each, with the exact amount depending on the severity of the offenses carried out against them. In exchange, he will be put on military leave until he reaches the age of retirement for the IDF, upon which he will receive full economic benefits such as an army pension.

Sharoni is expected to claim that he has started the rehabilitation process and that this should be taken into consideration to reduce the punishment against him. He also added that he has never physically or verbally harmed a soldier, which – according to him – should also mean reduced severity of his punishment.

According to the report, some of the complainants have expressed anger at the expected plea deal, seeing it as a “reward for a sex offender.” However, the military prosecutor’s office has nevertheless claimed that this is a double achievement: the complainants will not have to testify and the indictment will not be lessened.

  IDF officer Lt.-Col. Dan Sharoni is escorted out of the IDF military court in the Kirya military headquarters (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV) IDF officer Lt.-Col. Dan Sharoni is escorted out of the IDF military court in the Kirya military headquarters (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Speaking to Ynet, the IDF responded to the report, saying that “the criminal proceedings in the case of Lt.-Col. Dan Sharoni are pending before the Special Military Court. Recently, the military prosecution updated the victims of the offense on the possibility of reaching agreements with Lt.-Col. Dan Sharoni, which includes his confession to the acts attributed to him.

“Compensation for all victims of the offense, as well as the termination of his service. Upon termination of service, the possibility of revoking the officer’s pension will be considered... Naturally, it is not possible to comment on the details until after the completion of the update process and final decisions regarding the case.”

According to the report, military prosecutors are expected to try and push for him to be sentenced to several years of imprisonment.

You do the crime

Sharoni was first arrested on November 9, 2021, on charges of committing sexual offenses and invasion of privacy.

According to  Military Advocate General (MAG) Maj.-Gen. Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi, Sharoni has been taking photographs of female soldiers since 2010.

One of his alleged victims stated in an Instagram post that Sharoni had set up a network of hidden cameras, including one in his shower, one in the bathroom, and another in front of his bed.

She added that other accounts allege he accessed soldiers’ private phones and took photographs of them when they were in their residences.

Sharoni was dismissed from his role in late November.

IDF Spokesman's response

The criminal proceedings in the case of Lt.-Col. Dan Sharoni are pending before the Special Military Court, an IDF spokesman stated.

The military prosecution updated the victims of the crime with the possibility of reaching agreements with Sharoni, which include his confession to the acts attributed to him, payment of compensation to all victims, as well as termination of his service.

Upon the termination of service, the possibility for revoking the officer’s pension will be considered.

“The prosecution asked for the testimonies of the victims, in accordance with their rights according to the law,” The IDF added. “Due to the nature of the case, the details of it cannot be publicized until the legal proceedings end and final decisions are made.”

Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.