An Israeli military Colonel identified as Aref Zaher, 45 years old, was convicted on Monday, by a court martial, of indecent sexual acts and acquitted of Ã¢â‚¬Å“statutoryÃ¢â‚¬Â rape charges, of a female soldier who was serving under his command.
Zaher was found guilty of initiating full sexual relations with a female soldier on 15 occasions in his office, and two times in a hotel room in Tel Aviv.
Yet, the court ruled that there is not enough solid evidence to prove that the female soldier objected to engaging in these acts.Ã‚Â
Meanwhile, Zaher denied having sexual relations with the soldier, and said that they had engaged on one occasion in Ã¢â‚¬Å“touching intimate body partsÃ¢â‚¬Â above clothing, hugged and kissed on two other occasions.
Also, Zaher added that three instances happened after the female soldier was discharged from the army, and that she initiated the touches.
The court found the statement of Zaher to be fraud and baseless and rejected claims that a conspiracy was developed to frame him.
The court ruled that the complaint of the female soldiers is reliable and supported by an objective outside proof.
Zaher refused to undergo a medical checkup after the complainant testified that he has a scar on his back.
Zaher commanded a small section in the personnel department of the Israeli Army General staff. The female soldier finished her military service there in February 2004; the Israeli radio published her complaints in December 2004.