Former Jerusalem police chief Niso Shaham was sentenced on Monday to 10 months in prison by the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court following his conviction for sexual harassment and indecent assault of female police officers as well as fraud and breach of trust.
Shaham was also fined 7,500 shekels ($2,200) and ordered to compensate two of his victims 1,500 shekels each; he was also required to pay a third victim 500 shekels.
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Shaham’s lawyer, Boaz Ben Zur, said that he would appeal. The prosecution, he charged, was seeking to send his client to prison for “consensual intimate relations” as he put it. “There wasn’t a single claim here of non-consent.”
Shaham was initially charged with eight counts of misconduct involving junior policewomen, including fraud and breach of trust, for alleged romantic relations with five policewomen about whom he made job-related decisions. He was convicted on one count of indecent assault and sentenced to 240 hours of community service, but prosecutors appealed the case.
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In September, the lower court decision was reversed and he was found guilty of sexual harassment, fraud and breach of trust as well.
In her decision in September, District Court Judge Miriam Diskin said that Shaham’s relationships with junior policewomen “undermined the public’s trust” in the police. “Forging ties with junior policewomen to satisfy his sexual desires became routine for him,” she wrote. “This isn’t morally flawed behavior, but rather criminal behavior.”
“I’m undergoing a storm of emotion,” Shaham said following a December hearing. In addition to denying his guilt, he made reference to a separate civil suit filed by policewomen against the Justice Ministry in which they alleged that they had been subjected to humiliating questions about Shaham’s conduct.“Have any of the [prosecutors] gotten up and asked forgiveness from the women?” he asked.