Senior policeman in lurid sex scandal

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 2, 2010
Dr Orly Ines: “I am not ashamed, I did no wrong”

Dr Orly Ines: “I am not ashamed, I did no wrong”

Accusations of sexual harassment have thrown the Israeli police into turmoil and affected the selection of the next national chief of police. In an unorthodox move, the accuser revealed herself in public last week to draw attention to the victims of sexual crimes.

For weeks, she was known in the media only as O, the woman who had accused two senior law enforcement officials of sexual harassment. But last Thursday, Dr Orly Ines decided to relinquish the anonymity afforded to alleged victims of sexual crimes and appeared at a rally in Tel Aviv for the elimination of violence against women. "I am not hiding, I am not ashamed, I did nothing wrong," she said, and called upon other victims to speak out and accuse their assailants.

This was the dramatic high point of a lurid media spectacle in which the most intimate details of the accuser's and the accused's sex-lives have been picked over by the press.

Three weeks ago the director-general of the Internal Security Ministry, Hagai Peled, resigned after being accused by O, an adviser to the ministry, of having verbally and sexually abused her for months. Allegedly, Mr Peled, who had a single sexual encounter with Dr Ines, had continuously cursed and abused her and even spat water over her.

Following his resignation, another complaint emerged, this time against Commander Uri Bar Lev, former chief of police in the south and currently law enforcement attaché at the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Dr Ines lodged an complaint of sexual assault claiming that two years ago, while attending a professional conference in Eilat, she and Cdr Bar Lev had left a restaurant together when he pushed her to the ground and lay over her.

Cdr Bar Lev immediately returned to Israel to defend himself. He says there was no sexual or violent nature or intention in his actions and his many defenders accused Dr Ines of waiting for two years to lodge her complaint.

Meanwhile, another charge of rape, this time four years ago, arose from another woman against Cdr Bar Lev. The officer insisted that the relations were consensual but by this time, the media was so full of details of his love affairs that he was forced to announce on Sunday that he was taking leave.

The scandal appears to have put paid to Cdr Bar Lev's ambitions to be the next Israeli chief of police.

Last updated: 10:07am, December 3 2010