Ilan Shmuel, a former chauffer of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was convicted Tuesday of sexually assaulting six girls between 9 and 16 years old, some of them related to him.
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At the Jerusalem District Court, Shmuel was convicted on 10 counts of rape, sodomy and obscene acts. He will be sentenced at a later date.
Until five years ago, Shmuel was employed as a substitute driver by the Prime Minister’s Office and sometimes drove Netanyahu. The Shin Bet security service heard about the allegations and told the police, who launched an investigation.
According to the indictment, the crimes were committed between 1988 and 2009.
“We were stunned by the verdict and will certainly appeal,” said Shmuel’s attorney, Mechael Ironi. “My client insists on his innocence and will continue to fight for the truth.”
Jerusalem prosecutor Anat Greenbaum noted that Shmuel had committed his crimes “forcefully, as the [victims] were crying.”
“The defendant denied the charges and dragged the complainants to testify in court,” she said. “The complainants overcame emotional difficulties and mustered the courage to testify before the court about the defendant’s criminal acts.”