Media adviser sues Knesset member for sexual harassment

Media adviser sues Knesset member for sexual harassment

Yosefa Barak claims lawmaker suggested she become his sex coach; unidentified MK refuses to comment

Media adviser Yosefa Barak in April 2017. (Screenshot: YouTube)
Media adviser Yosefa Barak in April 2017. (Screenshot: YouTube)

A media adviser has reportedly filed a police complaint against a current Knesset member, accusing him of sexual harassment and demeaning behavior toward her.

Yosefa Barak, 48, filed the complaint on Monday, Hadashot TV reported, two weeks after she first revealed on a TV show on the Reshet network that three Knesset employees, including the MK, had sent her harassing text messages.

Barak has said the lawmaker, who hasn’t been identified, had offered that she be his sex coach, Hadashot reported Tuesday.

She said she had become friends with the lawmaker while working with him on a joint project, the report said. During personal correspondence, he used degrading sexual expressions that made her feel objectified, Barak added.

The lawmaker in question did not comment on the report.

In a separate sexual misconduct scandal dogging the Israeli parliament, Labor lawmaker Eitan Broshi was suspended on Sunday in light of accusations that he sexually harassed a woman 15 years ago in an elevator. Party leader Avi Gabbay tweeted that “there is no place for sex offenders either on the streets or in the Knesset.”

Labor party MK Eitan Broshi, of the Zionist Union faction, seen during a Finance Committee meeting at the Knesset, April 30, 2018. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

After giving an ultimatum to Gabbay, demanding an apology for calling him a “sex offender,” Broshi said Tuesday that he was gearing up to file a libel suit for NIS 300,000 ($81,700) after he refused to back down from the comment.

Broshi has faced calls from members of his own party to step down from the Knesset. He denies any wrongdoing.

The developments come less than two weeks after Labor MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin accused Broshi of touching her on the buttocks during a field trip by members of the opposition party. She subsequently accepted his apology.

Stuart Winer contributed to this report.

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