Sex-crime Case Against Award-winning Israeli Actor Could Be Closed

A year has passed since the police recommended prosecuting Moshe Ivgy, but prosecutors believe the acts attributed to Ivgy are minor and fall beneath the threshold of sexual violations

Moshe Ivgy
Moti Milrod

The Haifa District Attorney’s Office may close the case against actor Moshe Ivgy, who is suspected of indecent assault and sexual harassment of three women who worked with him at the Haifa Theater.

A year has passed since the police recommended prosecuting the actor, but prosecutors believe the acts attributed to Ivgy are minor and fall beneath the threshold of sexual violations, and have yet to decide whether to charge him.

In May 2016, four months after the investigation began, police said they had completed their work and sent the file to the Haifa prosecution, saying the investigation had found a basis for the complaints that Ivgy had exploited his position to commit sexual offenses against the women.

One of the complainants, a former Haifa Theater actress, said that her harassment complaint against Ivgy had not been handled properly by theater management when she had made it two years previously.

At a hearing held at the theater, Ivgy apologized for the “misunderstanding” and the theater said the inquiry “had ended to the employee’s satisfaction” and that she had been moved to work on a different production. The actress warned that she plans to sue the theater, but is waiting to see what the prosecution decides.

The Walla website last year published testimonies from other women who claim Ivgy sexually harassed them as young actresses. One, who played a role in series with Ivgy, said that after one of the rehearsals 11 years earlier the actor stayed behind with the young actress and kissed her against her will.

Another actress said that she, too, has been harassed by Ivgy 11 years earlier. She said that Ivgy would often touch the breasts of women who worked on the production.

“And then, around a month into the production, while everyone was saying routine goodbyes at the end of the day, he came to say goodbye and before I even understood what was happening I felt his tongue being thrust aggressively into my mouth. It happened so suddenly and unexpectedly that at first I didn’t even make the connection between this repulsive thing crawling into my mouth and the actor who had just been standing next to me. I pushed him away hard and we parted ways quickly and unpleasantly.”

In response to the Walla report, Ivgy said, “I have great respect for the people I work with and have worked with. I’m shocked by the alleged claims raised in the article. I never hurt anyone in any way, man or woman. My conscience is clear.”

Since then the case has been languishing with the Haifa district prosecution, which said, “The case is in the advanced stages of evaluation.”