A senior commander in an elite Border Police undercover unit was sent to prison for 16 months following a conviction for performing indecent acts on a female subordinate.
The officer was sentenced several months ago but details of the case were only permitted for publication overnight Wednesday after the Haaretz newspaper petitioned to lift the gag order. The identity of the officer, who has since been expelled from the force, was withheld.
In addition to the prison time, the commander was ordered to pay the victim NIS 15,000 ($4,320) in compensation.
The Kfar Saba Magistrate’s Court found that the commander deceived the officer by convincing her she would be joining him on an undercover operation in which they would pretend to be a couple. Under that ruse, he committed indecent acts on two occasions, the court found.
The defendant “took advantage of her innocence and lack of knowledge to commit obscene acts on her body,” the court said and noted that the crime was carefully planned out rather than a spontaneous act.
In his defense the commander claimed that he was testing her suitability for operations that require a cover story, and was practicing a cover of being lovers, the Ynet news site reported.
The Police Internal Investigations Department, which sits under the Justice Ministry, had filed the indictment against the commander after receiving a complaint from the officer who was serving as videographer. She had been sent to document training by the undercover unit when the commander proposed to her that she participate in the alleged operation, even though she had no formal training as an undercover agent.
The incident occurred in August 2018 and the commander told the officer there was a need for absolute secrecy and that she should not tell any else of the mission, including others in her unit.
He drover her to a forest near the base where she was serving, ordered her out of the car, and then gave her a prolonged kiss when embracing her and stroking her body through her clothes, including her chest and buttocks, the court heard.
The pair then returned to car and he continued touching her, including her private parts, while claiming he was carrying out observations outside of the car, Ynet reported. They then returned to the base.
Ten days later he brought her back to the same forest and again kissed her. On that occasion the officer complained and asked if such intimate kissing was really necessary. The commander responded by warning her that if she did not comply she would be replaced on the alleged operation, and then continued to kiss her, according to the Ynet report.
The officer then filed a complaint with the PIID.
Israel Police said in a statement that it takes “a very serious view of these kinds of acts that do not align with the expected norms of an officer, and certainly not a commanding officer.”
Police said that with the opening of the investigation the officer was first put on leave, then suspended. Following his conviction he was booted from the Border Police.