The parole board decided on Monday to shorten the sentence given to prominent actor Moshe Ivgy over the indecent assault and sexual harassment of four women.
Prosecutors are expected to appeal the decision.
Ivgy was serving an 11-month prison sentence at the Hermon Prison in northern Israel. The earliest date for his upcoming release is March 14.
The parole board said that although Ivgy’s crimes were “ugly,” the chances that he would pose a danger to the public or reoffend had diminished since he was jailed. Prosecutors have said in the past that Ivgy’s multiple assaults demonstrate a pattern of behavior.
The board said that he would undergo rehabilitation upon his release, in addition to the treatment he received during his incarceration.
The chair of the Na’amat women’s group, Hagit Pe’er, said that Ivgy’s early release was the latest in a series of decisions to grant early release to high-profile sex offenders.
“The parole board continues its determination to facilitate sex offenders,” she told the Kan public broadcaster. “What message do you want to send to the brave women who have the courage to complain, and now see how the system pities those sexual predators?”
Ivgy was sentenced last year by the Haifa Magistrate’s Court, after the court 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.
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 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. 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, argued 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” (2005) 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.”