Convicted Sex Offender, ex-Mofaz Aide, Still Working as Transport Min. Adviser

A former aide to Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz who was sentenced yesterday to six months in jail for sexually abusing three of his partner's sisters, is still working with the ministry, despite his conviction.

Jonathan Yair Sabag was sacked by the ministry a few months ago after he was indicted for indecent assault and sexual harassment of the sisters, two of whom were minors at the time the incidents occurred.

Despite being removed from his position, Sabag has continued to work over the past few months as a strategic advisor for government organizations under the ministry's authority, according to a Transport Ministry source.

"They just let him in through the window," the source said. "He wasn't really fired. He's still working with us. Sabag is advising the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) and continues to work with employees in the NRSA even though he was fired." The source added that in his current capacity, Sabag holds regular meetings with ministry officials.

Transport Ministry spokesperson Avner Ovadia denied the claims and said Sabag has not worked for the ministry since he was fired several months ago.

"Jonathan Sabag is not working for the Transport Ministry and to my knowledge has no work ties with people in the Transport Ministry," Ovadia said.

The Eden Communications consulting firm confirmed that Sabag is employed on a part-time basis by the company. It said his tasks include "writing, [working on] projects and behind-the-scenes jobs." The company added that it is "not aware" if Sabag is participating in meetings with Transport Ministry officials.

A Haifa District Court sentenced Sabag yesterday on charges of indecent assault and sexual harassment of the three complainants. The verdict states that Sabag, 28, and his partner, 25, lived together in Hod Hasharon. The parents and 14-year-old sister of Sabag's partner came to live with them during the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006. Sabag took advantage of the younger sister when they were alone and forcefully tried to kiss her.

In another incident, Sabag is accused of touching this complainant without her consent. After she returned with her parents to their Nahariya home, she continued to receive sexually explicit messages from the accused.

The sentence also refers to other incidents, including one four years ago, in which Sabag, who then lived with his partner's family, sexually assaulted another of her sisters, then 15.