IDF officer facing 79 counts of sex crimes may receive lucrative army pension

Lt. Col. Dan Sharoni reportedly in advanced talks for favorable plea deal with military prosecutors, will confess to filming dozens of soldiers without their consent

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Lt. Col. Dan Sharoni, an IDF officer accused of of secretly filming his female soldiers, at a hearing at a military court in Tel Aviv, December 5, 2021. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Lt. Col. Dan Sharoni, an IDF officer accused of of secretly filming his female soldiers, at a hearing at a military court in Tel Aviv, December 5, 2021. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

An Israel Defense Forces officer facing 79 charges for allegedly filming dozens of his subordinates while they were nude without their knowledge and collecting sexual images of soldiers and some civilians over the course of at least eight years, is expected to sign a favorable plea deal, according to a Monday report.

In December, Lt. Col. Dan Sharoni was indicted for using a variety of hidden cameras, including inside phone chargers, to film soldiers under his command, often installing them in their barracks and showers. He is 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 included the cases of 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.

Sharoni is close to signing a plea deal with military prosecutors, the Ynet news site reported Monday night.

The arrangement would see Sharoni confessing to the charges and expressing remorse, and being given a military pension despite being too young.

Sharoni is currently two years away from the required age for a military pension, and his sentencing trial was therefore scheduled for April 2024, Ynet reported.

Military pensions are generous, and as they are awarded from age 46, they give officers the ability to launch lucrative second careers on top of their large pension packages.

The IDF said prosecutors updated the victims of the possibility that an agreement would be reached with Sharoni, which would include him confessing and paying compensation, as well as being discharged from the army,

“After the termination of service, the possibility of revoking the officer’s pension will be considered,” the IDF said in a statement, in response to Ynet’s report of him potentially receiving a pension package.

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

Hundreds of photographs and videos of soldiers and civilians, either fully or partially nude, were found in Sharoni’s possession at the time of his arrest, the military said last year.

In many of the cases, the victims were soldiers and officers with whom Sharoni had close relationships.

The indictment was filed against Sharoni at a special military court at the IDF’s Tel Aviv headquarters. He faces 43 counts of privacy violation, 30 counts of indecency, one count of attempted indecency for a case in which he installed a hidden camera in someone’s room but ultimately only photographed them fully clothed, three counts of illegally hacking a computer, one count of impeding the work of a Military Police officer and one count of conduct unbecoming a soldier.

According to the charge sheet, Sharoni committed his crimes from 2013 to 2021, while he served in three different units in the military.

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