Israeli Actor Moshe Ivgy Begins 11-month Prison Sentence for Sex Crimes

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Moshe Ivgy enters Hermon Prison, on Wednesday.
Moshe Ivgy enters Hermon Prison, on Wednesday. Credit: Gil Eliahu

Famed Israeli actor Moshe Ivgy began his 11-month prison sentence on Wednesday after being convicted of sexual harassment and indecent acts against several women.

When asked by journalists whether he hopes his time at Hermon Prison passes quickly, Ivgy replied, “No. [I hope] that it won’t pass quickly, that it’ll pass like it’s supposed to. We’ll experience it to the end.”

Ivgy was initially sentenced last year to six months of community service and six months of probation, but following an appeal by the prosecution, he was convicted on all charges. The matter of his sentencing returned to the Haifa Magistrate’s Court, which dealt him a harsher sentence. Last month, Ivgy decided not to appeal the ruling. His attorney, Michael Carmel, told Haaretz last month that his client “is coming to terms with the sentence.”

Igvy was originally convicted last year over two incidents that occurred in 2012. On one occasion, he stroked the exposed back of an actress during a movie shoot and inserted his hand into her tank top. When she complained about his behavior, Ivgy used a phrase suggesting that she was inviting such behavior. In the other instance, during the filming of a scene of the television series “The Arbiter,” he squeezed up against the woman’s body and whispered that he wanted to “screw” her.

In March, Ivgy was convicted of two further charges. The first related to an incident that took place in 2013, when he forcefully pressed his head against Complainant C's chest and fondled her. For that incident, he was convicted of committing an indecent act.

The second charge, for which Ivgy was convicted of sexual harassment, involved an incident from December 2013, in which Ivgy approached Complainant D at a falafel stand and asked her sexually charged questions. The Magistrate’s Court initially ruled that Ivgy’s comments did not constitute sexual harassment despite being “invasive, insensitive and crude.” The Haifa District Court overturned that ruling.

Ivgy has dominated Israeli movies and television for decades; the actor has won Israel’s equivalent of the Oscar several times and graced red carpets at festivals around the world. Considered one of the most gifted Israeli leading men of his generation, Ivgy was also tapped by international directors for smaller roles – Steven Spielberg cast him in “Munich.”

Other women have accused Ivgy of sexually harassing them while working with him. However, their accusations were not included in the indictments, either because they had not filed a formal complaint with the police or because the statute of limitations had expired.

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