An Israeli online daily reported on Wednesday that former justice minister Haim Ramon was found guilty of indecent behavior at Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court on Wednesday afternoon.Ramon was found guilty of kissing a young woman soldier against her will.
Haaretz added that Ramon could face three years in prison; he left the courthouse without any comment to the reporters.
The verdict was reached by a three-judge panel; they said that the account of the complainant is the "absolute truth”.
The judges, Hayuta Kochan, Daniela Cherizli and Daniel Beeri said that Ramon “did not speak the truth, and "exaggerated and distorted the facts".
Judge Kochan said that Ramon crossed lines that should not be crossed; “the kiss was not a kiss of affection, it has all elements of sexual crime”.
The judges also said that Ramon "tried to distance himself from the event and from anything that could have embroiled him in the affair. "He had no qualms about slandering the complainant… The defense produced witnesses whose sole target was to blacken the complainant's name”, Israeli media reported.
Israeli TV channel say that Ramon’s sentence hearing will take place on February 21.
Ramon faced the charges last August; he was accused of committing indecent behavior after kissing the complainant “H”, on July 12, which is the day the second war with Lebanon started.
Ramon admitted to kissing the soldier, but claimed that it was the natural outcome of a lengthy flirtation that H. conducted with him, Israeli media reported.
Ramon also claimed that the kiss was mutual, and that he did not force it on the employee, who was finishing her military service.
The prosecution said that Ramon and H did not have any prior acquaintance, and that nothing in H.'s behavior implied that she wanted Ramon to kiss her.
Journalists attending the court session were not allowed to carry their cell phones or beepers in the court room. The verdict was delivered to the press by a court spokesman who emerged to announce it.
Israeli media also said that the prosecution argued that the kiss between the young woman and the 56-year old minister took place minutes before the Israeli cabinet convened to vote on going to war with the Lebanon-based Hezbollah party.