Prominent actor Moshe Ivgy entered Hermon Prison in northern Israel on Wednesday to serve out an 11-month prison sentence handed to him over the indecent assault and sexual harassment of four women.
Ivgy was sentenced in July by the Haifa Magistrate’s Court, after the court in March overturned a previous verdict sentencing him to just six months of community service. He was convicted of five counts of indecent acts and sexual harassment.
Ivgy arrived at the prison more than four hours before the scheduled time. Asked by reporters whether he hoped his prison term would pass quickly, Ivgy said: “No. I hope it passes as it should pass. Nothing needs to be quick. I will experience this till the end.”
What did he feel about it, then? “Well, it’s no trip to Thailand,” he responded, carrying a big backpack and accompanied by a friend.
Ivgy was originally scheduled to enter prison on September 1, but a request to delay the entry until after this month’s Jewish holiday period was granted by both prosecutors and the court, since he had accepted the verdict and chosen not to appeal the sentence.
In February 2016, six women accused Ivgy of harassing them while they were working together on various films, TV shows and plays. The women told the Walla news site of private rehearsals in which Ivgy would force himself on them, often insisting on unnecessary rehearsing of intimate scenes and kissing them against their will.
משה איבגי החל הבוקר את ריצוי עונשו בכלא חרמון????
צילום:גיל אליהו pic.twitter.com/xu2uNPIuXT
— Real News IL (@RealNewsIL) September 29, 2021
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) September 29, 2021
Prosecutors filed charges in 2018, saying they had found sufficient evidence that Ivgy exploited his status to commit indecent acts and sexually harass four women in 2012 and 2013, some of them at his workplace. He faced four counts of indecent acts and three of sexual harassment.
But Ivgy was found guilty by the Haifa Magistrate’s Court in January 2020 of just one count of indecent assault against one woman and acquitted in the other two cases. In July that year, he was sentenced to six months of community service and ordered to pay NIS 10,000 (approximately $2,900) to his victim.
In their appeal to the Haifa District Court for a stiffer penalty — which was ultimately accepted — prosecutors, who had initially requested a 15-month prison sentence for Ivgy, said the multiple separate complaints against the actor showed a pattern of behavior.
Ivgy has appeared in dozens of films, plays and television shows, including “Hunting Elephants” (2013) and Steven Spielberg’s “Munich,” and won an Ophir — Israel’s top film award — for his supporting role in “Metallic Blues” in 2004, the same year he was nominated for Best Actor for his role in the award-winning “Campfire.”