The Tel Aviv District Court yesterday sentenced a former bodyguard for the Israel Defense Forces chief of staff to eight years in prison following the defendant's conviction for attempted sodomy.

The case against the defendant, Erez Efrati, arose after he attacked a woman in November near Tel Aviv Port following his bachelor party. The court also imposed a NIS 20,000 fine and required Efrati to pay NIS 150,000 in compensation to his victim, whom he led from her car and assaulted near the banks of the Yarkon River.

The three-judge panel rejected Efrati's contention that, due to alcohol consumption, he was not aware of the significance of his actions at the time of the attack. The judges said that 45 minutes earlier, he had a conversation with his fiancee in which he told her about how much he had enjoyed the party and asked that she turn on the water boiler before he came home.

The indictment against Efrati accused him of dragging his victim out of her car to the riverbank, but at his sentencing, it was noted that she thought he was trying to steal her car, so she voluntarily left the vehicle and even gave him her wallet.

The judges also noted mitigating factors in Efrati's favor, including his expression of remorse and the deletion of the attempted rape charge in an amended indictment that was filed as part of a plea agreement. The maximum penalty for attempted indecent assault is 16 years in prison.