Investigators Want Bar-Lev Charged With Indecent Assault

Orly Innes accused Bar-Lev of forcing himself on her sexually after the two met during a police conference in Eilat two years ago.

The Justice Ministry department tasked with investigating police officers has amassed sufficient evidence to recommend an indictment against Maj. Gen. Uri Bar-Lev on charges of sexual harassment and attempted indecent assault.

The news comes at the same time as an announcement by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss that he will personally lead an inquiry into allegations that Maj. Gen. Yohanan Danino, a leading candidate for the police commissioner post, was negligent in failing to prevent the murders of two police informants four years ago.

barlev - Tomer Appelbaum - November 29 2010
Tomer Appelbaum

The complaints have put the vetting process for a new commissioner on hold.

Orly Innes accused Bar-Lev of forcing himself on her sexually after the two met during a police conference in Eilat two years ago. Innes, who passed a polygraph test, revealed her identity as the head of anti-domestic violence group last week at a press conference in Tel Aviv. Prior to the allegations, Bar-Lev was considered a top candidate to succeed David Cohen as police commissioner.

Investigators failed to amass sufficient evidence to file charges against Bar-Lev over his encounter at a Herzliya hotel with an accuser known only as M., who charged the major general had drugging and raped her five years ago.

Investigators failed to find evidence to back up M.'s claims.

Bar-Lev admitted that he engaged in sexual acts with M., but denied her claims that he had drugged her.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and State Prosecutor Moshe Lador must now decide whether to accept the Justice Ministry's recommendations to prosecute Bar-Lev. However, due to the prosecutors' strike, there will be no recommendation forthcoming from their prosecutor.

"We commend the [Justice Ministry unit] for its decision not to indict Maj. Gen. Bar-Lev on the charge of rape," said Bar-Lev's attorney, Irit Baumhorn. "We are confident that ultimately the prosecutor's office will decide not to file an indictment on the charge of attempted indecent assault over an incident in which Bar-Lev allegedly grabbed and pulled Orly Innes' hand."

Innes' attorney Rachel Toren criticized Baumhorn's characterization of the alleged encounter between Bar-Lev and Innes.

"The attempt to minimize the event and to portray it as 'a pulling of the hand' is an attempt at spin which is intended for media consumption, and nothing else," Toren said.