Former Jerusalem police chief Nissan “Niso” Shaham was sentenced Monday to 240 hours of community service for kissing a junior officer six years ago. The Tel Aviv District Court also sentenced him to six months of probation after he was found guilty of engaging in indecent conduct toward a subordinate.
In his ruling, Justice Benny Sagi said “the actions of the defendant cannot be seen as ‘just a kiss.'”
“An equivalence should not be made between the appropriate punishment of someone who kisses an anonymous person against her will, and the appropriate punishment for a senior officer who kisses a junior police officer against her will,” Sagi wrote in his decision, according to Hadashot TV news.
Ronen Itzak, from the State’s Attorney’s Office department for investigations of the police, asked for a delay in the implementation of the sentence so that an appeal can be filed.
“The department found serial behavior from a senior police officer, which violated the regulations and rules required of an officer of his rank and constitutes a breach of trust that harms the public, with his conviction of a sexual offense,” Itzak said.
Shaham was convicted of indecent conduct in April, but was acquitted of nearly a dozen other charges filed against him over alleged sexual relationships with numerous female officers under his command. The district court threw out one count of sexual harassment, five counts of breach of trust and another count of indecent behavior.
Prosecutors had claimed that on multiple occasions Shaham had coerced policewomen into sleeping with him, and later made decisions about their careers.
Judge Benny Sagi ruled in his decision at the time that other than in one instance, Shaham’s encounters with the junior officers were consensual and did not constitute a criminal offense.
“Despite the conflict of interests, his decisions regarding the police officers he was involved with… were justified,” he wrote in his decision.
The court convicted Shaham on one count of indecent behavior for kissing a police officer against her will in 2012.
Throughout the investigation and trial, Shaham repeatedly refused to sign a plea deal that would have seen him plead guilty to the breach of trust charges.
After his April conviction Shaham called the accusations against him “delusional” and untrue, and said the entire investigation was “much ado about nothing.”
Shaham has said he was “determined” to appeal his conviction.