A veteran actor found guilty of a string of sexual offenses against his female students was released Sunday from jail after serving four years — approximately two-thirds of the prison sentence imposed on him.

The Attorney General did not contest the decision of the Prison Service’s parole board to reduce the prison term for Hanan Goldblatt, who was convicted in 2008.

Goldblatt, a 71-year-old former star of TV comedy and children’s shows, was found guilty on numerous counts of rape, sodomy, indecent assault and abuse of authority against five different women and sentenced to seven years in prison and two years of probation.

The high-profile release coincided with International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and several groups spoke out against the decision to set Goldblatt free.

The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel stated that “we should remember that until we adopt a zero tolerance policy toward any form of sexual exploitation, any real change will keep eluding us.”

Goldblatt said upon his release that he deeply regretted “the things I did and the things I have said in the past.”

Following an appeal filed in 2010, the Supreme Court retracted one count of rape and shortened the sentence by one year.

The affair came to light in 2005, when a woman posted on an Internet message board saying that back in 1989, when she was 16, she was sexually abused by “an actor, a comedian, who was very famous.” In the wake of the revelation, more women came forward to claim they were abused by Goldblatt when he was their acting coach.

Goldblatt was arrested, and spent nearly three years under house arrest. He pleaded not guilty in court.

The District Court in Tel Aviv ruled in 2008 that Goldblatt took advantage of his students’ trust in him and carried out grave sexual offenses while practicing scenes that included intimate contact. Some of the victims were minors at the time of the assaults.