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Israeli Palestinian man to appeal rape-by-deception conviction

By the CNN Wire Staff

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'Rape by deception' or racism?
  • Saber Kashour pretended to be single and Jewish before having sex with an Israeli woman
  • "Eighteen months in prison is too much" for consensual sex, the convicted man's lawyer says
  • Kashour says he's known as "Dudu," a nickname for the Jewish name "David"
  • Kashour's claim that he was single "would be relevant" to case, legal center official says

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this post inaccurately characterized the nationality of a man who admitted in a plea bargain to a charge of rape by deception. He is a Palestinian resident of east Jerusalem, which Israel has occupied since 1967.

Jerusalem (CNN) -- The lawyer for a 30-year-old Palestinian married father of two who has admitted in a plea bargain to rape by deception said Wednesday he will appeal his client's sentence, which was handed up Monday.

"Eighteen months in prison is too much," said Adnan Aladdin. He is representing Saber Kashour, a Palestinian living in east Jerusalem who admitted pretending to be a single Jewish man before having sex with an Israeli woman.

Kashour already has been detained for two months, followed by about two years of house arrest, his lawyer said. "According to the bargain, he should be punished, but we expect him to receive community service on appeal in about 30 days' time," Aladdin added.

Kashour told CNN the relations with the woman, who has not been identified publicly, were consensual.

"The girl is the one who started flirting with me and talking to me, and she is the one who wanted the thing from beginning to end," he said. "I met her on a West Jerusalem street, she approached me and started flirting with me. Within 15 minutes, she wanted to be with me, and we were together."

It is terrible, but the law says very clearly that if someone has sexual intercourse using deception about his identity to conduct the act, it can be considered rape.
--Lawyer Leah Samael
  • Israel
  • Jerusalem

Aladdin described his client's liaison in more detail: "There was a short foreplay a few minutes before; during the foreplay, the guy tells a few lies, the lady tells a few lies. They both have one goal, and that is to go to bed together. After the sexual intercourse, which was totally consensual, the lady decides to claim that the guy raped her brutally. She comes to court and testifies that this was a case of rape in which there was the use of force.

"At this stage, the defense decides to make an independent investigation. The investigation came up with new facts upon which the D.A. [district attorney] decides to give up the claim the sex was not consensual. So both sides agreed that the sexual intercourse was consensual. However, the D.A. still wanted to charge him with rape by deception.

"So this is the best the defense could do in this case. We are appealing the very long sentence."

Kashour, who acknowledged having told the woman he was single, said he is known as "Dudu," a nickname for the Jewish name "David," but also his own nickname.

"Apparently, later she discovered that I was an Arab and complained to the police," he said.

"I did not say anything or commit anything wrong," he insisted, adding that he did not understand how his misrepresentations could result in a rape charge. "If I told the woman I was a pilot and later she finds out that I was not a pilot, then she goes and says that 'He raped me'? If I told her that I was a millionaire and it turns out that I am a poor man, then she goes and says that 'He raped me'?"

"It is terrible, but the law says very clearly that if someone has sexual intercourse using deception about his identity to conduct the act, it can be considered rape," said Leah Samael, a lawyer specializing in civil rights and human rights cases.

But, if the circumstances had been different -- if a religious Jew had said he was not religious in order to woo a potential suitor -- "he would not be brought to court," she said. "And I am not sure that, on this occasion, it is a reason to charge. To have intercourse in daytime in a deserted building in the center of town -- I say the circumstances speak for themselves."

She added, "The thing that interests me in the case is the need, the necessity, of Arabs in Israel to pretend. To speak without an accent so as not to be seen as Arabs. To dress not to look like Arabs."

She predicted Kashour would prevail. "I don't know if he will be acquitted, but he has served his punishment," she said.

Criminal law rarely applies to minor lies, like dyed hair or a changed name," said Dana Pugach of the Noga Legal Center for Victims of Crime. "But it would apply to the more meaningful lies," she said.

"For example, where a doctor persuades a woman to have sex claiming it would be a part of the medical treatment. As for this particular case, it is not the fact that he was an Arab and claimed to be Jewish. The court emphasized the fact that he claimed to be single while he was married, which would be relevant in the context of a romantic relationship."

Kashour expressed regret, but not for the alleged victim. "I would only be upset and regret this because I have put my wife through pain and upset her, but I did not [do] anything wrong with the girl."

His is the second conviction on the charge of rape by deception. In 2008, the Israeli High Court of Justice convicted Zvi Sliman for impersonating an official in the Housing Ministry and promising women help and benefits to persuade them to have sex with him. Sliman was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Azriel Guy, Kareem Khadder and Paul Colsey contributed to this report from Jerusalem.