A former chauffeur of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was sentenced to 27 years in prison on Sunday for raping seven underage girls, some of them related to him.
The Jerusalem District Court convicted Ilan Shmuel on dozens of counts of rape, sodomy and indecent acts in minors aged nine to 16.
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 said that "the court took into account the gravity of the acts, their persistence and the cruelty with which they were carried out, and imposed a severe punishment of dozens of years of imprisonment on the defendant."