Arab man appeals sentence for rape by deception

(JTA) — An Arab man convicted in a Jerusalem court of rape by deception after posing as a Jew has appealed his sentence to Israel’s Supreme Court.

Saber Kushour, 30, who was sentenced last week in Jerusalem District Court to 18 months in prison as part of a plea bargain, appealed Thursday to the High Court of Justice, the Jerusalem Post reported.

His conviction and sentencing has made international headlines, and the Israeli legal system has been accused of racism. Both were noted in the appeal by Kushour’s defense.

Kushour, a married father of two from eastern Jerusalem, does not deny that he had a one-time sexual encounter with a Jewish woman, who was identified as Maya, but says he did not misrepresent himself as being Jewish in order to sleep with her.

The two met in downtown Jerusalem in 2008 and introduced himself as a Jewish bachelor seeking a serious relationship, the indictment said, according to media reports. The couple then went to a nearby building and had consensual sexual intercourse; Kashur then left.

The woman filed a complaint after realizing that Kashur was not Jewish. The court ruled that the consent for sex was obtained under false pretenses.

In the appeal, Kushour’s attorney claims that the court exaggerated in its sentencing. Elkana Leiset, a public defender, said the district court did not consider the fact that mere minutes passed between the initial meeting and the lie and the sexual act.

"It’s hard to believe that someone who had sex minutes after she first met her partner did so on the basis of him saying he was interested in a serious relationship," Leiset told the Post.

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