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Leading LGBT activist Gal Uchovsky questioned by police over alleged sexual assault

Statement on behalf of screenwriter says he will cooperate, denies he committed any offense; three men have anonymously but publicly accused him of misconduct

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)

Screenwriter and producer Gal Uchovsky, one of the most prominent LGBT rights activists in Israel, was questioned by police on Monday over allegations of sexual assault, Hebrew media reported.

Police opened an investigation into Uchovsky last month after the Kan public broadcaster published testimonies of men who said that Uchovsky sexually assaulted them in recent years. At least one complaint has been filed with Tel Aviv police.

A statement on behalf of Uchovsky said he would cooperate fully with the investigation and that the “full picture will prove that no offense was committed and the boundary into criminality was not crossed.”

Without naming Uchovsky, police said they were questioning a man in his 60s on suspicion of sexual offenses committed a number of years ago.

After the initial Kan exposé was broadcast last month, 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 in the wake of the report, Uchovsky did not deny sexual interactions with the two accusers, but said that he did not intend to hurt anyone. Days later, Kan said a third man had contacted the station to allege sexual misconduct.

FILE — Gal Uchovsky at the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court, Aug 17, 2011 (Yossi Zeliger/FLASH90)

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.

The third man was a holistic practitioner who claimed Uchovsky assaulted him during a treatment session 14 years ago when the latter tried to touch him sexually against his will.

“I told him, ‘Stop, enough,'” said the man, who also claimed Uchovsky slapped him.

He explained he felt compelled to come forward after seeing the Kan report. 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, the broadcaster said.

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

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