bar-lev - Moti Milrod - November 23 2010
Ilan Franco and the woman identified as O. Photo by Moti Milrod
Text size
related tags

A woman accusing a top Israel Police chief candidate and an outgoing director general of the Public Security Ministry of sexual assault and harassment is set to kick off a public campaign calling for more protection against victims of sex crimes with a press conference on Thursday.

In the prime-time press conference O., the first of Maj. Gen. Uri Bar-Lev's alleged sexual assault victims, plans to announce the kick off of a public campaign meant to empower the victims of sexual misconduct by exposing both her name and identity.

Major General Bar-Lev was interrogated for more than seven hours on Wednesday, answering questions regarding the two complaints of sexual offences that have been made against him.

Bar-Lev underwent a polygraph test and was asked questions about an encounter with M. and S. that occurred in a Herzliya hotel five years ago, and about an incident involving O. that occurred in Eilat two years ago.

While connected to a lie-detector, Bar-Lev admitted that he engaged in sexual acts with the complainant M., but denied her claims that he had drugged her. S., a former friend of M., confirmed Bar-Lev's claim that M. had arrived at the hotel of her own free will.

Speaking during a meeting with women who offered their support in recent days, O. discussed her intention to go public, saying her position as a "well-connected member of the establishment" gave her the "strength that other women do not sufficiently possess to come forward."

She said she will now make an effort to "leverage her position in the hopes of putting forth a plan that would offer protection to sex crime victims."

O. said that legislation is needed to limit media reportage of details and accusations about the private life of sex crime victims, similar to the stories that have been published about her past relationships.

"We must formulate a plan that would give victims of sex crimes the legitimacy to come forward," she said. "Society must protect these women and not turn them into punching bags."