The Haifa Magistrate’s Court on Thursday sentenced prominent Israeli actor Moshe Ivgy, who was convicted in January of indecent assault on a woman, to six months of community service, four years after initial accusations were leveled against him.
In addition, the court ruled Ivgy must pay NIS 10,000 (approximately $2,900) to his victim and put him on probation for six months. He is to serve his community service at the Zichron Yaakov police station.
Judge Ziv Refaeli told the court he was sparing Ivgy, 66, from a custodial sentence due to his age and previously clean record.
Ivgy’s lawyer said he was considering appealing the sentence.
“Moshe is disappointed with the sentence. He receives love from the public who love him,” Michael Carmel told Channel 13 news. “We are considering appealing the sentence — Moshe is determined to return to his life.”
Orit Sulitzeanu, director of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, told the Kan public broadcaster that the sentence was a disgrace.
“Ivgy’s miserable punishment is simply disgraceful and demonstrates how time and time again, the justice system fails to deal with serial offenders,” Sulitzeanu said, adding that she called on prosecutors to appeal. “Ivgy’s place is in jail.”
Earlier this month, prosecutors had requested a 15-month prison sentence for Ivgy, despite a recommendation from the probation service of no jail time.
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. Ivgy, who denied any wrongdoing, announced that he was taking a break from acting for the duration of the probe.
The charges against Ivgy were filed in 2018, with prosecutors saying they found sufficient evidence that he had exploited his status to commit indecent acts and sexually harass four women in 2012 and 2013, some of them at his workplace.
He had faced four counts of indecent acts and three of sexual harassment, but the Haifa Magistrate’s Court only convicted Ivgy of one count of indecent assault, citing insufficient evidence in acquitting him of the other charges.
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 Academy 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.”
In October 2016 Ivgy was awarded Best Actor in a Feature Film by the Haifa International Film Festival for his role in “The 90 Minute War,” prompting outrage from women’s rights groups.