Jerusalem-based psychotherapist Yuval Carmi was sentenced Tuesday to three years and three months behind bars by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court after pleading guilty to charges of sexual assault against two of his patients.
He was ordered to pay NIS 100,000 ($30,000) in compensation to Kim Ariel Arad, the first plaintiff to come forward, and NIS 30,000 to a second victim whose name has not been made public.
“I’m full of regret for what I did,” Carmi, 67, said after his sentencing, according to a Channel 12 report. “I’m sorry I caused harm and hope such cases don’t happen again,” he added.
Arad, who came to court in Jerusalem Tuesday morning to attend the sentencing hearing, said Carmi’s apology did not mean much to her.
“I hope for him that he’s sorry but the offense was so severe that words have no meaning,” she told Channel 12.
The victims expressed regret at what they called a lenient sentence reached under a plea deal.
However, Carmi’s sentence was considered severe in comparison to previous similar cases. His attorney had argued that he should be sentenced to no more than 10 months in prison, citing a court decision from 2015 that sentenced a therapist convicted of sexual abuse to 10 months, according to a report by Kan news.
Carmi admitted in December to committing an indecent act against Arad, 21, who came to him for help after suffering sexual abuse as a child.
In January, he was convicted of indecent acts carried out against another of his patients after confessing to the charges as part of a plea deal.
Following reports of his arrest, at least five other plaintiffs came forward to accuse Carmi of sexual abuse. He never admitted to any wrongdoing regarding at least two other cases.
The acts against Arad took place early last year, with Carmi assaulting her during their session. In an interview with Channel 12 aired earlier this year, she said she froze when that attack occurred. “He knew exactly what made me disconnect… and he used that. I felt like I couldn’t see the situation from the outside. Could he be touching me there? When I opened my eyes I saw we were kissing,” she told the network at the time.
Arad had voiced her disappointment with prosecutors prior to the plea deal being finalized, saying Carmi should have been charged with rape.
“This man used me and penetrated my privacy for four years that included severe ethical violations. In the end, he penetrated my body as well. It happened inside the clinic where I revealed to him the details of the rape I went through as a child,” Arad said after Carmi’s conviction in December.
“I had hoped the police and prosecution would be the responsible adults… their decision to give the crime against me the label they gave, a label that does not acknowledge what I went through, continues severe harm to my sense of safety.”
She said she had considered appealing to the High Court of Justice but had come to the conclusion that it would be “torture, and I can’t go through more of that.”