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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Israeli Woman Found Guilty of 'Sperm Theft,' Ordered To Pay $31,000

A Tel Aviv court has ruled a woman tricked a man into thinking she was infertile and then "stole his sperm" to get pregnant. She was ordered to pay her ex-partner NIS 110,000 ($31,000) in damages.

The milestone verdict in the city's Magistrate’s Court last week is a break with previous so-called sperm theft rulings. Courts have typically rejected petitions by men seeking exemption from providing child support because they had not anticipated pregnancy.

The case involves a man and the women who had a sexual relationship ten years ago. The man brought the case to court claiming his ex-partner had persuaded him not to use contraception because she was infertile. She detailed fertility treatments she had undergone. The relationship ended after two years and the man went on to meet another women.

On the eve of his wedding to the new woman, his ex-partner told him she was pregnant. When he refused to recognize paternity, she pursued child support in court. He was compelled to pay by previous rulings, but the legal battle lasted for years until a new judge ruled in his favor.

The man charged in court that in pursuing recognition and child support, his ex-partner harassed his family and “destroyed everything” he had built. She denied all his claims but Judge Hannah Yenon found his story more convincing.

“The plaintiff did not anticipate that the defendant would become pregnant and genuinely believed that she was infertile,” Judge Yenon wrote in her verdict. “The behavior of the defendant constitutes the commission of an unjust act of ‘sperm theft.'"

The judge offered some reprieve to the defendant reducing the compensation sought by the plaintiff saying she does not deserve the "full weight of blame."

Even though the chances of conception seemed "slim," he should have considered the possible outcome of having sex with her without using contraception, the judge said.

The judge ruled the woman pay the defendant NIS 75,000 ($21,000) in compensation, and an additional NIS 35,000 ($10,000) penalty for invasion of privacy. 

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