An Israeli Court Martial sentenced an Israeli army colonel to eight months after he was found guilty of statutory rape and committing indecent sexual acts on a female soldier when she was serving under his command.
The colonel, Atef Zaher, 45, was also demoted to the rank of a major, and received ten months of suspended imprisonment.
Zaher was acquitted of rape charges two weeks ago.
Amnon Streshnov, the presiding judge at the marshal court said in his verdict that the crime in this case were Ã¢â‚¬Å“a systematic sexual abuseÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Leaving the court, Zaher told the press that the charges against him are Ã¢â‚¬Å“falseÃ¢â‚¬Â, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I never hurt another human being in my whole lifeÃ¢â‚¬Â, he added.
Zaher also said that the court warned him that after the verdict and after his name is made public, dozens of other girls would file complaints against him, Ã¢â‚¬Å“where are those girls?Ã¢â‚¬Â he added.Ã‚Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“You should not believe every story a girl tells youÃ¢â‚¬Â, Zaher said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“there is something behind these chargesÃ¢â‚¬Â, Zaher added while hinting that his conviction was set up, but did not elaborate.
Zaher denied having sexual relations with the complainant, but testified that they had engaged before in Ã¢â‚¬Å“touching intimate body parts, and in two occasions they hugged and kissedÃ¢â‚¬Â.
According to Israeli sources, Zaher was a commander of a small section of the Israeli army General Staff personnel department, the female soldier finished her service there in February 2004; the story was exposed by the Israeli radio in December, 2004.