Complainant's Husband Says Timing Was Not a Coincidence

Someone 'who does things like that' should not be police commissioner, says husband of woman who claims she was assaulted by Uri Bar-Lev.

The woman who told police that the leading candidate for police chief had sexually assaulted her waited until now to file her complaint because she felt that someone "who does things like that" should not be police commissioner, the woman's husband told Haaretz yesterday.

The woman, an external consultant to the Public Security Ministry who is being publicly identified only as O., said that after a work meeting at a restaurant during a police force conference in Eilat two years ago, Uri Bar-Lev attempted to embrace her against her will, threw her down on the grass and lay on top of her. She said he held her down by force despite her efforts to resist.

He later called her cell phone 14 times, she said.

"O. didn't complain about Maj. Gen. Uri Bar-Lev in real time, just when it became clear that he really stood to be appointed to the post of police commissioner," said O.'s husband. "Then she said that this cannot happen, and informed the appropriate authorities. She saw it as her civic duty, because when a person does things like that, he cannot be police commissioner."

Although she did not file a formal complaint, O. did tell him and others about the incident shortly after it happened, her husband said.

After a 12-year marriage, O. and her husband separated about six months ago. But the separation hasn't made him any less bitter when he talks about O.'s depiction as a manipulative woman who used her femininity to rise in her career.

"There is a group of sexist former military men who see a successful and charismatic woman and try to get close to her in a crazy way, and when she pushes them away, they attack her or defame her," said O.'s husband.

In an apparent reference to stories of O.'s affairs with senior officials in the police force and the Public Security Ministry, her husband said it was a continuation of the original assault.

"Unfortunately, in our crazy chauvinist reality, the woman who complains about sexual offenses is turned into the guilty one, and they try to blacken her name and drink her blood," he said. "As though it's not enough that she underwent abuse and sexual assault, they continue to abuse her and focus on the irrelevant tabloidy details and forget that there are two cases being investigated - against Bar-Lev and against Hagai Peleg."

Peleg is the outgoing director general of the Public Security Ministry, who is being investigated by the Civil Service Commission.