An Israel Defense Forces officer with the rank of captain has been arrested on suspicion of raping a female officer in his unit, the military said Thursday.
In a statement, the IDF confirmed a report by the Ynet news site of the investigation, and said the officer would remain held until Tuesday.
“At the request of the Military Prosecution, the military court ordered the extension of the officer’s detention, for the purpose of continuing the investigation,” the IDF said.
The IDF said he was suspected of “serious sex offenses.”
According to the Ynet report, the officer, who serves in a coed light infantry battalion in the Jordan Valley, claimed that he did not recall the incident at all.
The female officer, who filed a complaint with the Military Police, said the rape took place several months ago, during an outing involving male and female officers from the unit, the report said. She reportedly told investigators that she called up the officer at some point after the alleged incident and told him he raped her.
The detained officer is not the alleged victim’s commander, but they serve together in the unit.
Military Police investigators suspect he sexually assaulted a number of other soldiers as well, Ynet said.
Military prosecutors are likely to file an indictment against the officer, including charges of rape, an indecent act by force, sexual harassment, and behavior unbecoming of a soldier, the report said.
The military has been criticized for its handling of sexual assault allegations. In an ongoing case in military court, prosecutors nixed a plea deal signed with Lt. Col. Dan Sharoni, who had been accused of filming dozens of his female subordinates while nude without their knowledge. The deal, which originally included him potentially retaining his military pension, set off a firestorm of controversy about the case and about how the IDF handles sex crimes.