Kashur at home in Jerusalem.
Kashur at home in Jerusalem. “Everyone calls me Dudu,” he said. Photo by Emil Salman
Text size

 

Lawyers for the Arab man convicted of rape by deception and sentenced to 18 months in prison, say they are considering an appeal to the High Court of Justice.

Sabbar Kashur, 30, had consensual sex with a woman after he posed as a Jewish bachelor interested in a long-term relationship.

When the woman found Kashur was not a Jew but an Arab, she filed a police complaint that led to charges of rape and indecent assault.

"If she hadn't thought the accused was a Jewish bachelor interested in a serious romantic relationship, she would not have cooperated," Judge Zvi Segal wrote in his verdict. Segal said the court had to protect the public from sophisticated criminals who could mislead innocent victims.

Kashur, married and the father of two small children, has been under house arrest for almost two years since the incident occured.

According to Kashur, he was exiting a grocery store in downtown Jerusalem around midday when a woman in her late 20s began to talk to him. "I would say she set upon me. She was interested in my motorcycle and so we talked. I didn't pretend. I said my name is Dudu because that's how everybody knows me. My wife even calls me that."

Kashur said the verdict is racist.

"For two years I've been under house arrest for nothing," he said. "If I were Jewish they wouldn't have even questioned me. That's not called rape. I didn't rape her in the forest and throw her away naked. She agreed to everything that happened."

In 2008, the High Court of Justice set a precedent on rape by deception, rejecting an appeal of the rape conviction by Zvi Sleiman, who impersonated a senior official in the Housing Ministry whose wife worked in the National Insurance Institute. Sleiman told women he would get them an apartment and increased NII payments if they would sleep with him.

High Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein said a conviction of rape should be imposed any time a "person does not tell the truth regarding critical matters to a reasonable woman, and as a result of misrepresentation she has sexual relations with him."

Rubinstein said the question was also whether an ordinary person would expect such a woman to have sex with a man without the false identity he created.

In the past, men who misrepresented themselves in this way were convicted of fraud.

One such case was that of Eran Ben-Avraham, who told a woman he was a neurosurgeon after which she had sex with him, and was convicted of three counts of fraud.

Elkana Laist of the Public Defender's Office yesterday said the Jerusalem District Court had gone too far in its application of the approach of the High Court, "opening the door to a rape conviction every time a person lies regarding details of his identity. Every time the court thinks a reasonable woman would not have had sex with a man based on that representation, the man will be charged with rape. That approach is not accepted around the world either."

Laist also said the court's verdict was paternalistic toward women. "The test the court adopted is problematic, because it means that every time a man tells a woman he loves her, based on which she sleeps with him, he could be convicted of rape."

Dana Pugach, head of the Noga Center for Victims of Crime, said she thought the verdict was appropriate. "We all have different characteristics, and it is a person's right to have sexual relations with a person knowing the facts about those characteristics. I see no difference between impersonating a Jew if you are an Arab and a wealthy pilot when you are penniless, if those are relevant characteristics to the decision to have sex."