Miami-Dade County

Israeli diplomat in Miami suspended amid child abuse allegations

Miami Herald Staff Report

Chaim Shacham

Israel’s consul general to Florida and Puerto Rico was recently suspended and replaced by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs after his daughter accused him of beating her with a belt both in Jerusalem and in the family home in Aventura.

Chaim Shacham, a senior Israeli diplomat who was until recently based in Miami, was indicted for committing offenses while on a mission abroad and placed on house arrest, according to a statement and indictment by the Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office. An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed this week that Shacham was suspended from his post.

According to the indictment, Shacham has been charged with two counts of assaulting a minor and one count of coerced testimony.

According to the indictment, prosecutors say his teenage daughter, born in 2002, told investigators that on several occasions last year her father struck her with a leather belt as a form of punishment. On one occasion, she said he pushed her into a shower, resulting in a “hematoma [a blood clot] in her left arm,’’ the indictment said.

The indictment stated that while on vacation last year in Israel, the family quarreled while going to Jerusalem. On the trip, they stopped at a gas station. The daughter, “who feared the defendant would hurt her, secretly asked the gas station attendant … to call the police.’’

Shacham then ordered her to tell police it was all a mistake and she had asked the attendant to call police “because she was nervous.’’ He played a police officer in a “simulation,’’ the indictment said.

Shacham began serving as consul general to Florida and Puerto Rico in 2011. The consulate general website shows he was replaced last month by Lior Haiat.

Aventura police said they have no record of any police reports involving Shacham.

Ariel Roman-Harris, a spokesman for the Israeli consulate general office in Miami, said, “We have nothing to say on this matter.’’

This story was first reported in the blog, Tikun Olam.