Israel: Employer sentenced to 8 years in prison for raping a Filipino worker

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Nov 11 2009

An Israeli employer was sentenced to eight years in prison and a 25,000 NIS ($6,700) fine for raping and sexually harassing his Filipino worker, the Israeli news portal Walla reported earlier this week. The man, Moshe Ben Yehuda (58) from the small town of Olesh, sexually assaulted the Filipino woman over a year ago. The woman was employed in the flower fields belonging to Ben Yahuda, a farmer. On her first day of work for the farmer, Ben Yehuda approached the women in her room. He sat on her bed, turned the TV to a channel showing pornographic movies, and stroked her back. A few days later, Ben Yehuda entered her room, asked her to sleep with him, and when she refused, he threatened and raped her.

In their verdict, the judges wrote that "the defendant used the fact that the migrant worker arrived in the country only few days before the events occurred. She was lonely, without friends, without knowledge of the Hebrew language, totally dependent on the defendant, who was to provide her with shelter, food and pay.... The defendant must be held accountable no only for the rape, which is one of the most lowly and despicable criminal acts, but also for using the complainant's total dependency on him."

In Israel's Penal Code, the minimum sentence for rape is three years, and the maximum is 18.

Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East