Former Israeli President Katsav convicted of rape

JERUSALEM—An Israeli court has convicted former President Moshe Katsav on two counts of rape.

Thursday’s conviction means Katsav will face a minimum of four years in prison. The verdict marks the climax of a four-and-a-half year saga that has riveted the nation as it watched its top citizen face the most serious charges ever leveled toward an Israeli public official.

The 65-year-old Katsav is also facing charges of lesser sex crimes involving two other former employees. A verdict on those charges is expected later in the day.

Israel’s presidency is a largely ceremonial position. But the allegations roiled the country by portraying the man supposed to be Israel’s moral compass as a predatory boss who forced himself on female employees.

Katsav resigned in 2007 and was replaced by Shimon Peres.

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