A very interesting and unbelievable case from Israel.
By Adrian Blomfield, The Daily Telegraph July 20, 2010 1:02 PM
A Palestinian man has been convicted of rape after consensual sexual intercourse with an Israeli woman who believed he was Jewish because he introduced himself as “Daniel”. An Israeli court made international legal history by jailing Sabbar Kashur, from East Jerusalem, for 18 months.
The 30 year-old delivery man was convicted of “rape by deception” after a criminal trial that drew criticism from across Israel.
Kashur was accused of misleading the woman, whose identity has not been disclosed, by introducing himself with the traditionally Jewish name when they met on a street in central Jerusalem in 2008. After striking up a conversation, they went into a nearby office block and engaged in a sexual encounter, after which Kashur quickly left.
The woman discovered his true racial background later, lawyers said.
Although conceding that the sexual intercourse was consensual, Tzvi Segal, the district court judge, concluded that the law had a duty to protect women from “smooth-tongued criminals who can deceive innocent victims at an unbearable price”.
She said: “If she hadn’t thought the accused was a Jewish bachelor interested in a serious romantic relationship, she would not have co-operated.”
A conviction for rape by deception on the grounds of racial misrepresentation is believed to be internationally unprecedented, according to British legal experts.
The charge is rarely used in the West. In 2007, a Syrian pilot walked free from a court in Swansea after being accused of tricking a woman into intercourse by saying it could cure a sexually transmitted disease. While forced sexual intercourse by deception is an offence under Israeli law, experts say it is a charge used sparingly in cases involving protracted deceit and a promise of marriage.
Adnan Aladdin, Kashur’s lawyer, said he had filed an appeal to ensure the verdict was not considered to be setting a precedent, adding that otherwise “many men would find themselves in jail”.
Israeli legal experts said they found the verdict disquieting. “It puts the law in the position of what could loosely be described as discrimination. I would feel intuitively uncomfortable about prosecuting someone for something like that,” said a former senior justice ministry official.
Gideon Levy, a leading liberal commentator, said: “What if this guy had been a Jew who pretended to be a Muslim and had sex with a Muslim woman? Would he have been convicted of rape? The answer is: of course not.”
The prosecutor was unavailable for comment. District attorney officials declined to discuss the case.
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