Hebrew University - Eyal Ben-Ari arrested for complaints of
Three students file
harassment complaints against professor
By Jonathan Lis, Haaretz
Three former students
have filed police complaints of sexual harassment against Professor
Eyal Ben-Ari. As of Monday, the three women testified that Ben-Ari's
made them indecent proposals. Police say that in the coming days
they expect the women to add additional charges to the file.
Ben-Ari, a senior
lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was arrested last
week on suspicion of forcing sexual relations on students and
doctoral candidates he was advising in exchange for their
advancement and scholarships.
The police have the names
of seven students who were allegedly victimized by Ben-Ari. A number
of them have been summoned to the police to testify, and police
continue to seek out other possible complainants.
Investigators say they
believe the publicity in the case will bring other women forward.
Ben-Ari, a sociology and
anthropology professor, denied the allegations during his police
questioning. He would admit only to having a consensual affair with
a student 12 years ago.
The investigation against
Ben-Ari began after students who were allegedly victimized by Ben-Ari
sent an anonymous letter to the university authorities. The students
accused Ben-Ari of rape, forced sexual relations and misuse of
university funds to finance his own trips abroad with female
students and to purchase gifts for them.
Ben-Ari was released last
week with restrictions. He has been banned from the campus for 30
days and prohibited from contacting the complainants or university
officials. He is also not allowed to leave the country and had to
sign a bond of NIS 10,000.
Three months ago, a
teaching assistant published sexual allegations against a colleague
of Ben-Ari's, which ultimately led to Ben-Ari's arrest.
The university has denied
dragging its feet in handling sexual harassment complaints. But
Israel Women's Network attorney Yifat Mitzner, who is representing
the teaching assistant, said the university tried to close her
client's case without even hearing the complainant's testimony.
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