Two Cops in Southern Israeli City Suspended for Alleged Sexual Harassment

Woman was allegedly harassed while filing a complaint over traffic accident.

Tess Scheflan / Jini

Two police officers from the Ashdod police station have been suspended in connection with the alleged sexual harassment of a woman who came to the police station to file a complaint. The Justice Ministry’s unit for investigating police officers is investigating a policeman with the rank of senior staff sergeant major for alleged sexual harassment and committing indecent acts against the woman. The other policeman, an advanced staff sergeant major, is suspected of witnessing one of the cases of harassment by the other officer.

The affair began in September when an Ashdod resident came to the police station with her husband to file a complaint concerning a traffic accident she was involved in. She said she was hit by a car while crossing the street in a marked crosswalk while pushing her son in a stroller. A few days after filing her complaint, the first police officer called her and asked her to come to the station to provide further details on the case.

The woman says that when she arrived at the station, alone, the policeman began to harass her. Her lawyer says the harassment was mostly verbal sexual harassment, and the police officer later made a call to her that was unrelated to the case.

The woman then contacted the Justice Ministry’s investigative unit, which sent her to the station again to secretly record the policeman. After this, he was called in for questioning. He has been suspended until next Sunday, though this is expected to be extended – as it already has been a number of times.

The investigators recently contacted another woman who told them the same policeman committed indecent acts against her, which allegedly happened before the first case they were investigating. This second case led investigators to another police officer from the Ashdod station who is suspected of witnessing the acts and not reporting them. He too was put on forced leave from the police, and the investigation is continuing.

The lawyer for the first policeman said his client denies the charges and was released after questioning without any limitations, which indicates his innocence.

The lawyer for the second police officer, who is suspected of witnessing the acts, said his client completely denies the accusations, and has no connection whatsoever to the case, and that he was present in the vicinity by accident and was not involved in any way.