A man convicted of raping a woman who had just given birth was sentenced to three years in prison on Sunday by the Jerusalem District Court.
Rasheq Hazem, from the Arab town of Anata just north of Jerusalem, was sentenced to an additional five months in prison for an attempted theft earlier in the same day that the rape took place in the capital’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center. Prosecutors had asked to sentence him to 11 years in prison.
Hazem, in his 30s, was convicted of entering the hospital and raping a woman in the maternity ward after she had given birth. He impersonated a member of the medical staff and raped her after saying he had to examine her.
Hazem then entered two other rooms in the hospital and carried out indecent acts on another female patient. He was acquitted by Judge Anat Singer on charges of carrying out an indecent act on a third patient on the basis of reasonable doubt.
He entered the hospital while fleeing police, who were chasing him after he tried to rob a store.
Prosecutor Anat Greenbaum from the Jerusalem District of the State Prosecutor’s Office said they will study the decision and consider whether to appeal what she called too light a sentence.
“The court ruled that in addition to the serious implications of the sexual assault, this case is even more severe because this is the exploitation of the physical and psychological situation of the new mother, who was hospitalized.”
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In addition, the fact that the acts were carried out in a hospital while the perpetrator impersonated a member of the medical staff “adversely affected the patients’ feelings of security and protection, and this experience could lead to the undermining of the faith in the hospital and its staff,” said Greenbaum.