Protest Closing of Rape Case Against Yoav Even
Join hundreds (I hope) of Israelis opposed to sexual violence against women, who will be protesting the prosecutor’s closing of the rape case against Yoav Even. The demonstration will be on Thursday, June 9th at 6PM in Tel Aviv outside the prosecutor’s office, 1 Henrietta Szold Street. The poster alludes to the lack of security for Israeli women, thus setting up an implict comparison with the near-obsession the state has for national security. You can guess who comes out on the short end of the stick in this comparison.
The poster notes the statistic that 80% of all cases involving sexual violence are dropped due to “insufficient evidence or lack of public interest.” In a perverse way, it’s supposed to comfort us I suppose that P’s case falls within that 80% majority.
H/t Dena Shunra and Itamar Shaaltiel.
16 thoughts on “Protest Closing of Rape Case Against Yoav Even – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Meanwhile, on Twitter, I just spent a frustrating hour trying to find the source for those numbers – and then arguing with people whether it’s *really* 80% of cases or not.
So, for the purposes of future argumentation: in 2009 the Rape Crisis Centers in Israel handled about 35,000 calls, of which about 7,500 were about new cases.
In the same year, Israel’s police tells us that it has filed charges in 1,545 sex-crime cases. (It also tells us that it received only 3,690 complaints about cases it defines as “serious sex crimes” – rape and suchlike; I did not see specific numbers for the not-quite-so-serious sex crimes.)
I count 1545 out of 7500 as pretty close to 20%.
Even if the percentage is different, and lower, it would have to be at least 40% of complaints recorded by the police as serious sex crime complaints are not making it to actual filed charges, which seems sufficient reason for a demonstration.
Unsurprisingly, The stats you seem to have come up with aren’t really that unique to Israel…
And I quote:
“In Denmark, on average 20 per cent of reported rapes lead to a conviction in court. 60 per
cent of rape cases where a suspect has been identified and charged by the police are closed
by the prosecution and never brought to trial.”
Have you considered the fact that perhaps these sort of crimes, that usually committed in intimate places, by people the victim knows before and that the victim is often reluctant to accuse for her own reasons are just a lot more harder to prosecute because ultimately they lead to a he said/she said scenario?
Sorry, I mis-spoke in my comment.
I meant that the victim is often reluctant to accuse IMMEDIATELY, which leads to the police not having enough physical evidence…
Another “famous rapist” case had just been discovered here in Israel
It involves a 17 year old girl, and again the courts have classified all info including the sickos name
Richard please post all the information you can get in this case so the public can know the truth!!
I have no sympathy for this guy Evan. That said, as a former presecutor, I assure you that any one-on-one alleged assault which leaves no physical evidence and after which the victim (note I do not say “alleged”) does not make immediate complaint when able to do so safely, but rather socially engages with the perpetrator, is an absolute demon to prosecute. In the US, most prosecutors would use a grand jury (members of the public) to dismiss the case – which would be a judicial, not administrative, decision. Since the decision in Israel is administrative, the prosecutor is subject to accusation of abuse of discretion.
I also think, with due respect, RS may be going overboard on the attention he is giving to a single judicial case, whereas most of his readers look for his acute analysis of larger events. Ask any trial lawyer, any single case can go anyway if put to the test of trial, there is no certainty in the world of litigation.
I agree that this would be a tiugh case to prosecute.
BTW, there was physical evidence–severe lacerations on her back (I saw the images).
I presume though u are right in the sense that there would’ve been little remaining other evidence like sperm. But there certainly would’ve been damage to her private parts which police & prosecutor likely could’ve seen in a medical exam (unless she brought her complaint so long after the rape that she had healed fr the internal injuries.
I still find your analysis of this topic flawed. Here in the UK, rape conviction rates are also very low, in single digit percentages usually.
It’s a very hard crime to prosecute.
In this case, given that the accused would mount a robust defence, is there sufficient evidence that would meet the standard of reasonable doubt?
Everything you’ve been *told* about this case might well be accurate, but would it convince a jury? Would it convince them beyond reasonable doubt? If not, do you see why the case would be dropped?
Israel doesn’t have a jury system.
The judge is the one who needs to be persuaded. However, before things get to a judge, you have to persuade the prosecution that the case is winnable.
In a case of he said/she said, which is often the issue in date rape, the prosecution plays it safe(r), and seems to try to prosecute only if there is forensic evidence.
This means that in Israel, de facto (although not de jure), once a woman crosses a certain threshold – the door to a man’s house, or bedroom, or has a drink with a man – he can rape her with impunity, because while the law says that no means no, prosecution won’t support her. Not even in the case of bruises & wounds, because “we had enthusiastic sex and now she’s angry that that I don’t want to be her boyfriend” is used as an acceptable response to “but I didn’t want to and I fought back”.
It’s an unwinnable impasse. I don’t think the solution is going to be found in Israel’s rickety, creaking justice system, with its courts overloaded to the breaking point.
I know very little about Israel’s criminal justice system, but I’m shocked they don’t have a jury system.
I had assumed they had juries, along with the presumption of innocence and the burden of proof.
I’ve still to see anything from Richard that would suggest that this case would be prosecuted in countries like the UK for example.
Tragically, it remains a very difficult crime to prosecute.
Tim, it’s not that shocking really, once you take history into account.
The British never introduced Juries into the system for a very good reason… The population was completely divided and getting a fair trial by Juries would be simply impossible given the animosity between Jews and Arabs that mandatorial Palestine.
When the Israeli Judicial system was born, on top of what the British left behind, there wasn’t any time or motivation to so either. Also remember that a huge majority of the Jewish population in the early days of Israel didn’t even speak Hebrew, but rather spoke their common ancestral languages, which wouldn’t make a Jury system relevant in the 10 or so first years of Israel.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Yes, that makes sense. I meant “shocking” in the sense that I found it surprising, rather than “oh that’s terrible.”
I wonder what discussions there are on jury systems within the Israeli legal system.
It was actually more complicated than that.
The British Mandate over Palestine was only about 21 years long. Before that there it had been under the Ottoman Empire, with *its* set of rules governing the place. So when the British Mandate started, it rode piggyback over Ottoman practices. When the Zionists started *their* state, they added two (conflicting) legal frameworks on top of those two – modern Israeli (which they made up as they went along) and Halachic/Hebrew (as a body of decided law).
Each successive system turned over some of the prior law, retained other bits of it, and kept much of what was in place – in place. Oh, and appointed all new judges.
It is a right mess.
I thought jury trials were rare in the world and only existed in England and its former colonies. And what is so great about a jury trial anyway: I would not gladly put my fate into the hands of a group of people untrained in the legal profession. And how do you know if the people that were selected sufficiently understand statistical or scientific evidence? Even trained judges in the Netherlands have been shown to lack such skills and are now made to follow courses.
And judges at least give a detailed reason as to why a certain decision is made. As far as I know, juries don’t, so you can be convicted without even really being told why.
But correct me if I am wrong.
Would you rather put your fate, if you were P. in the hands of Judge Sagi, or a jury that might include Israeli women who might have a better appreciation of your plight?
I could also get a judge with a better appreciation of my plight than judge Sagi. And with a jury I may end up with a box full of machos. This may be a European thing, but I see nothing superior in the jury system. (I keep seeing images of the grinning white males that made up the juries in the south in the fifties and sixties. The jury system didn’t guarantee blacks a fair trial in those days.)
I am sorry that the case was dropped. I do not have a lot of information, but it seems to me that a woman complaining about drugging and suffering from bruises, which the accused man does not deny having inflicted, might be telling the truth. The accusation is so grave and serious that it should at least be given the attention of a trial.
What makes it so frustrating is that it was not even given the attention of media coverage. Rape is hard to prove and that is given. But having said that it is apparently all too easy for our systems to give up and just ignore most rape complaints. Public scrutiny can help insure that their motivation to make their work easier does not override other more important considrations.
I think cases should be closed when there is reason to believe that a woman is making a false complaint. But as rape is by nature a he-said-she-said trial, how can closing a case on such grounds be justified? If following a trial, a judge cannot determine that rape has occured, let him explain why – but as said above, this should be a judiciary decision, following evidence and testimony and subject to scrutiny.
Maybe there should be a special procedure for decisions about rape cases, given the inherent difficulty of proof, whereby there is some sort of pre-trial to determine whether a trial is justified? At present, there is some sort of pretrial, but it is not a fair one – the defense attorneys get a lot of voice, the public prosecution gets it say, the police don’t get to speak and neither does the complainant. When the accused person has the finances to hire good defense, the balance is in his favor, as seen in the Katzav case (at that stage) and apparently here.
Public scrutiny of this phase is needed, and possible damage to the accused, while undesirable, must be weighed against the damage to the complainant and society in the lack of ability to provide justice in rape cases.
And one more thing – lack of ability to prove often rests on assumptions that have little to do with facts and a lot to do with misogynic values and assumtions, or ignorance the realities of rape.