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First sexual assault complaint filed with police against leading LGBT activist

Five people have reportedly told cops they were assaulted by TV personality Gal Uchovsky, but only one has filed formal paperwork

Filmmaker Gal Uchovsky at the Knesset , June 4, 2012. (Miriam Alster/ FLASH90/ File)
Filmmaker Gal Uchovsky at the Knesset , June 4, 2012. (Miriam Alster/ FLASH90/ File)

A first formal complaint was filed with police Sunday against screenwriter and producer Gal Uchovsky, one of the most prominent LGBT rights activists in Israel, who has recently been accused by multiple men of sexual assault.

Police last week opened an investigation into Uchovsky after the Kan public broadcaster published testimonies of two men who said that Uchovsky sexually assaulted them in recent years. Since then, a third person has also told the station he was assaulted by Uchovsky.

Media reports did not identify the complainant or the exact nature of the accusations against the celebrity, which were filed with Tel Aviv police.

According to Kan, so far five people have notified police of incidents regarding Uchovsky, including some in the past six months, but only one formal complaint has been filed.

After the Kan exposé, which included allegations from two men, was broadcast Monday, Uchovsky, a popular TV personality, apologized and said he would be stepping down as president of IGY – Israel Gay Youth, a leading nonprofit organization serving LGBTQ youth in Israel.

Writing on Facebook Tuesday, Uchovsky did not deny sexual interactions with the accusers, but said, “I’ve never tried to force myself on anyone, and I’ll take any polygraph test to prove it.”

He stressed that he had “never, ever intended to hurt anyone.”

On Saturday night, Kan said a third man had contacted the station. A holistic practitioner claimed Uchovsky assaulted him when being treated during a session 14 years ago. The man’s claims have been backed up with a lie detector test and a friend whom he confided in at the time of the alleged assault, according to the report.

The man told the station that already during the first treatment he gave Uchovsky, the latter tried to touch him sexually.

“I told him, ‘Stop, enough,'” said the man, who also claimed Uchovky slapped him on one occasion.

“He made me financially dependent on him,” the man said. He explained he felt compelled to come forward after seeing the Kan report last week.

All of the alleged victims spoke to Kan on condition of anonymity.

The first of the anonymous members of the LGBTQ community claimed that Uchovsky assaulted him a year and a half ago, during a prearranged sexual encounter between them, during which the IGY chairman violated the boundaries the two had agreed upon previously.

The complainant told Kan that he clearly stated his refusal to comply with the sexual advances, but that Uchovsky did not stop.

A second complainant told the broadcaster that, several years ago, during a work meeting with Uchovsky, the activist suddenly “leaped at me and started kissing me.”

“I tried to shove him away. He forced himself on me despite my objection, until he finished,” the second complainant recalled.

In response to the report, Uchovsky said he was not aware that the first man had not consented and apologized “out of understanding and sensitivity.” He said he did not receive sufficient details to comment on the second testimony, but “once that’s the feeling, he also apologizes to the second complainant.”

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