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Gynecologist gets 18 months in prison after sexually assaulting patients

CM 21/04/2021

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The Tel Aviv District Court on Wednesday sentenced gynecologist and former sex therapist Benny Schechter, who was convicted of committing indecent sexual acts against three different patients of his during their treatment, to 18 months in prison, probation and to pay compensation to the victims for the sum of NIS 145,000.
According to the indictment, Schechter committed the offenses against three women who came to him seeking treatment after complaining of experiencing pain during intercourse. 
Schechter deceived the women, claiming the acts were standard medical procedures and treatments that he said were required for their examination. After receiving the women’s consent though false pretenses, he committed the offenses attributed to him.
The court filing said Schechter used a vibrating device to rate the “pleasure levels” of the three women on four separate occasions. One woman reported Schechter using his fingers as well.
One victim claimed in court that the incident traumatized her, caused her to feel shame, guilt, anxiety and depression. She added that she has found it hard to seek medical treatment since, saying that the incident shook her faith in mankind, and especially her faith in doctors. She added that the investigation by the defense felt humiliating and invasive.
Another said she had begun to doubt herself following the assault, refusing to admit to herself that she had been assaulted until she had started to avoid social events and have trouble functioning in everyday life. She, too, claimed the cross-examination of her testimony was humiliating, shameful and threatening.
The third victim also said she has had trouble seeking medical attention and trusting others in general since the assault. She said that by filing her complaint, she was sacrificing her own peace of mind to prevent harm from coming to other victims. She says her mental state has affected her parenting abilities, but that her financial situation has left her unable to afford the therapy needed to help overcome her trauma.

According to the ruling, “[Schechter] is a reputable gynecologist and sex therapist. The complainants are young women who came to him unfamiliar with sexual therapy treatment protocols, leaving the most sensitive and intimate part of their body in the hands of the defendant, hoping to find a cure for the pain. In this state of affairs, any deviation by [Schechter] from acceptable treatment, without express consent, constitutes an abuse of his status.
“He took advantage of the complainants’ trust in him, given his senior professional status, and their lack of knowledge about the usual procedure for treating the problem, and performed a procedure on them that is one of the most sensitive and intimate in the woman’s body, if not the most intimate,” The ruling continued.
The ruling added that Schechter pleaded “not guilty” throughout the trial. “This is of course his right, but this means that there is no liability, and hence no articles were made to correct the aforementioned offenses.”
Attorney Rosie Kabaz of the Tel Aviv District Attorney’s Office, who handled the case, added that after Schechter’s conviction, the State Attorney’s Office coordinated with the Health Ministry in order to suspend his license to practice medicine.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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