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Outcry over ‘rape’ verdict

marciadottin, [email protected]

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JERUSALEM – Lying for sex. It happens all the time.Yet a married Palestinian man has been ordered jailed for 18 months for having sex with an Israeli woman after giving her the impression he too was Jewish, as well as single and interested in a relationship.His conviction of “rape by deception” has drawn charges of racism and questions about whether courts should be delving into this fraught topic.Saber Qashor, 30, a father of two, said he was approached by the woman in September 2008 on a downtown Jerusalem street where he had parked his motorcycle, and introduced himself as “Dudu,” a common Israeli Jewish nickname.Within half an hour they were having sex in a Jerusalem office building stairwell.After nearly two months, he was arrested and told the woman had accused him of forcible rape. Last week, he was sentenced to prison and fined 10 000 shekels ( 500) for “rape by deception,” an offence that may be unique to the Israeli legal code.Rape by deception was written into the law to protect women from sexual predators, but some argue that Qashor’s act doesn’t count – that he was simply doing what so many men and women do for sex.“It seems to me a dangerous decision,” said Professor Zeev Segal, legal analyst for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. “The law should not enter into the delicate domain of relations between men and women.”Having already spent nearly two years under house arrest, Qashor remains there while he pursues an appeal that his lawyer says may reach the Supreme Court this week.The original indictment claimed forcible rape but the Jerusalem District Court accepted the sex was consensual and a plea bargain reduced the charge to “rape by deception.” (AP)