Famed Israeli actor Moshe Ivgy was sentenced Monday to 11 months imprisonment following his conviction of sexual harassment and indecent acts against several women.
Last July, Ivgy was sentenced to six months of community service and six months of probation, but following an appeal by the prosecution he was convicted on all charges.
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 inside 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.
The prosecution sought more than three years in prison for Ivgy, asserting that the sentence given him “does not reflect properly Ivgy’s callous and deviant acts, which require a clear, unequivocal statement that women’s bodies are not fair game and that such acts will be answered with severe, deterring punishments. The defense argued for simply community service. Ivgy expressed in the hearing regret for his actions and said the affair had destroyed his life.
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.”
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Other women have accused Ivgy of sexually harassing them while working together with him. However, their accusations were not included in the indictments, either because they hadn’t filed a formal complaint with the police or the statute of limitations had expired.