The IDF legal division on Thursday filed an indictment against Brig. Gen. Ofer Buchris for three counts of rape and 13 counts of other sex crimes between July 2012 and January 2013, bringing the saga to a decisive point which has captivated the country for 5 months.
According to the indictment, Buchris perpetrated all three counts of rape along with seven other sex crimes against A, a low-ranking soldier serving under him, and another six sex crimes against L, an officer working for him.
The highly graphic indictment describes Buchris forcing A to have sexual relations with him in multiple positions as well as to perform sexual acts on him.
Some of the repeat incidents are described over a period of years, but the indictment specifically identifies Buchris as having raped A on April 1, 2011 at a weekend-rental home at Bnai Yehuda Village near Katzrin in the North.
A also accused Buchris of touching and caressing her without her consent all over her body specifically in April 2011 in general.
Some of the other specific details revealed include Buchris sending A text messages about his missing her, his kissing her until another officer walked into the room and his touching her breasts and other parts of her body on drives while his driver was present.
The indictment does not describe A as resisting, but rather as freezing up and neither responding nor cooperating.
In one instance, A told Buchris that she was having her period and so he refrained from touching her in her groin area, but touched her on the rest of her body.
In another instance, A warned Buchris that someone might walk into the room, that he should stop and that he should leave the door open.
L resisted far more according to the indictment.
On March 6, 2012, Buchris pinned L to the wall and started caressing her breasts, with L telling him “No, no, this is forbidden,” and eventually putting her hands up between their bodies.
Once L put up this resistance, Buchris stopped and the two of them conducted the meeting that had been scheduled.
Between January and June 2012, Buchris stripped in front of L lying in bed with her until L left the room not wanting to have sexual relations with him.
In several other instances, Buchris kissed and touched L against her will with L eventually leaving the area so that he would stop.
In one instance he asked her to go up to the bedroom to have sexual relations with him and she said “that is not happening.”
On September 9, 2013, L had a small car crash with Buchris’ car. He suggested her could help her with the incident, but again tried to touch her against her will, with her leaving and saying she did not need any more help.
All of the incidents other than the 2013 incident occurred when he was a Colonel and commander of the Golani Brigade, with the last incident occurring when he had been promoted to his current rank of Brigadier General.
On June 21, Buchris held a crucial pre-indictment hearing with the IDF’s top lawyer, Brig. Gen. Sharon Afek and his lawyer, IDF Public Defender Col. (res.) Asher Halperin.
At a hearing of only a few hours, Halperin requested to present additional evidence to Afek who allowed additional day of hearings.
Buchris had previously been accused of five incidents of rape against his main accuser and of sexual harassment against a second accuser.
The allegations, which broke in early March, have already cost him a promotion to be head of IDF operations within the operations directorate and have halted the career of an officer who many saw as a future IDF chief-of-staff.
Reports indicated before the hearing that Afek was leaning toward indicting him, though reports have varied on how serious the charges might be and no one has reported a smoking gun as in other rape cases.
In the gamut of dramatic moments in the case, from leaks, to lie detector tests to a confrontation between Buchris and his accusers, part of the key to the case is that his main accuser has held up under extreme scrutiny and been backed by other witnesses as well as that Buchris has not successfully pinned any possible false motivation on his accuser.
In mid-March, new evidence reported by Channel 10 and a battle of lie detector tests which seemed to go against Buchris appeared to move the IDF legal division closer to an indictment.
That new evidence reportedly included objective circumstantial evidence tending to confirm at least one of the five incidents of rape which Buchris is accused of.
In addition, the lawyers for the two women said at the time that IDF lawyers, including top military prosecutor Col. Sharon Zigagi, told them that the lie detector tests also showed that Buchris was not telling the entire truth in denying the complaints against him.
Halperin has slammed the leaks to the media as manipulative and doing injustice to Buchris throughout the saga.