Prominent actor Moshe Ivgy was sentenced by the Haifa Magistrate’s Court Monday to 11 months in jail on charges of sexual assault and harassment.
The sentence was handed down after the court in March overturned a previous verdict sentencing Ivgy to just six months of community service, and convicted him of five counts of indecent acts, and sexual harassment against four women.
State prosecutors had requested that court sentence Ivgy to no less than three years in jail. His lawyers, however, said that the actor had already suffered enough and should not face further punishment.
“He expressed remorse, told the court that he was taking responsibility and following the treatment he has been undergoing, that he understood that he had harmed women,” said his defense attorney Michael Carmel said following a hearing at the court last week.
“He told the court about the hell he’s been going through in the last few months, about the ex-communication, about becoming ostracized by society. He asked that he not be sent to jail,” they said.
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.
Prosecutors filed charges in 2018, saying they found sufficient evidence that Ivgy had 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, 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.”