July 21, 2010 / 12:12 PM / 7 years ago

Israel jails Arab in "sex through fraud" case

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Arab man who had consensual sex with a Jewish woman in Israel has been convicted of rape in a “sex through fraud” case and sentenced to 18 months in jail.

The defendant was quoted Wednesday in the Haaretz newspaper as saying the case was racially motivated because the woman complained to police only after learning he was an Arab.

“If I were Jewish, they would not even have questioned me,” he was quoted as saying.

Passing sentence Tuesday, the Jerusalem District Court said the defendant, “who is married, introduced himself falsely to the complainant as a Jewish bachelor, and as such, interested in a meaningful romantic relationship.”

Intermarriage is rare in Israel between Jews and Arabs, who make up 20 percent of the population.

The court said that while the woman agreed to the sexual liaison two years ago, the man misrepresented himself, and it had a duty to protect the public against “sophisticated, smooth-talking criminals who can lead innocent victims astray.”

A legal precedent in Israel classifying sex by deception as rape was set by the Supreme Court in a 2008 conviction of a man who posed as a government official and persuaded women to have sex with him by promising them state benefits.

Writing by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter

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