A 50-year-old therapist from Jerusalem was indicted for the rape of two sisters who were his patients in the Jerusalem District Court on Sunday.
Alon Shamir, a guided imagery therapist, is also accused of sexual offenses against their sister, who was a juvenile when therapy began.
The prosecution is seeking to have Shamir held in detention until the end of the criminal proceedings, saying that he “cannot control his urges.”
Shamir has worked as a guided imagery therapist since 2006, the year in which his three alleged victims sought his help after previously having had a social relationship with him. One of the woman, identified publicly only as G., was 18 at the time that her therapy, which lasted about four years, began.
Guided imagery is used to create or recall images in the course of treatment that are designed to a therapeutic or other beneficial effect.
Shamir and G. met once or twice a week, other than when Shamir was abroad, the indictment states and, at Shamir’s direction, they allegedly took place at a variety of locations, including cafes, hotel lobbies and in Shamir’s car and home. He is accused of raping G., touching her body and kissing her at various times and showing her sexually-related films.
In December 2014, he is said to have begun treating the second sister, identified as D., whom he is accused of raping, allegedly explaining that he needed to examine the state of her hymen. Shamir is also accused of committing other indecent acts on her.
In early 2015, he allegedly began treatment of the third sister, who was a juvenile at the time. He is accused of diverting the focus of the discussion to sexual topics and later convincing her to have sexual relations with him.
In February 2015, after Shamir allegedly sexually assaulted the third sister, she is said to have talked about it with one of her other sisters, and is said to have discovered that the sister had also been victimized by Shamir. They then are said to have involved the third sister and their father, after which they filed a complaint with the police.
Shiran Golbary, a lawyer with the firm that is representing Shamir, said the facts of the case need to sorted out, but it is clear that the facts are not as alleged.
In addition to the commission of rape and indecent acts, the charges against Shamir include rape by deception and having sexual relations with a client.
In support of its request to require that he remain in custody during the proceedings against him, the prosecution alleged that Shamir is incapable of controlling his sexual urges, stating that the acts of which he is accused occurred over a period of about a decade.
There is a reasonable suspicion, the prosecution claimed, that Shamir would obstruct the proceedings or seek to influence the women.