Head military prosecutor to meet with officer’s victims in sex offense case

IDF says lead lawyer to meet with plaintiffs out of ‘deep commitment’ to victims of sexual crime; Lt. Col. Dan Sharoni accused of filming subordinates without their knowledge

Lt. Col. Dan Sharoni, an IDF officer accused of sexual offenses, arrives for a court hearing at a military court in Beit Lid, July 24, 2022. (Flash90)
Lt. Col. Dan Sharoni, an IDF officer accused of sexual offenses, arrives for a court hearing at a military court in Beit Lid, July 24, 2022. (Flash90)

The military’s chief prosecutor will meet with the victims of an Israel Defense Forces officer who allegedly filmed his female subordinates while they were nude without their knowledge, the army said on Wednesday.

Lt. Col. Dan Sharoni is on trial for 79 counts of sex offenses for the activities, which also included collecting sexual images of soldiers and some civilians over the course of at least eight years.

“Out of a deep commitment to the victims of crime, particularly sexual offenses, and in recognition of the importance of their positions in the criminal proceedings, the lead military prosecutor has decided to meet with the victims of crime in the case of Lt. Col. Sharoni,” the IDF said in a statement.

The prosecutor, Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi, will invite the victims for personal meetings with her and her team in the coming days to hear from them on the case.

Their positions will be taken into consideration before any further decisions are made, the statement said.

On Sunday, a military court postponed a discussion on a potential plea deal in the case. Military prosecutors were expected to present a plea deal signed with Sharoni that would see the officer demoted to the rank of private and require him to pay compensation to the 49 victims totaling NIS 250,000 ($72,000).

Prosecutors have also demanded he be jailed for a number of years, though this may be replaced by house arrest or parole, subject to a risk assessment and any potential future rehabilitation programs.

The IDF has said prosecutors updated the victims on the proposed plea deal, the majority of whom supported it. But the court decided to postpone the discussion until August 8, allowing Sharoni’s victims to study the plea deal and voice their position on it after they have had a chance to read it in depth.

The ruling came after dozens of Sharoni’s victims and their families arrived in court on Sunday to confront him.

“I only have one thing to tell you — you may be able to do whatever you want to in this court but in the tribunal above, God won’t come to your defense for even a moment, I promise you. God sees everything,” one of the victims shouted at Sharoni.

According to the December indictment, Sharoni used a variety of hidden cameras, including some placed inside phone chargers, to film soldiers under his command, often installing them in their barracks and showers. He was also accused of taking soldiers’ phones for seemingly innocuous reasons and looking through them to see if they had nude or intimate photos on them and then copying them to his own device.

The indictment lists 49 victims, both female and male, though there may have been others. The majority were soldiers, though he also installed the devices in homes, including his own, and thus also filmed civilians. In addition, he was accused of entering some of his victims’ rooms while they slept and masturbating while filming them.

According to the charge sheet, Sharoni committed his crimes from 2013 to 2021, while he served in three different units in the military. In many of the cases, the victims were soldiers and officers with whom Sharoni had close relationships.

Sharoni has been dismissed from his position and has been in jail since his arrest in November.

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