Former President of Israel Rejects Plea, Will Face Rape, Assault Charges

Israel's former president Moshe Katsav has called off a plea bargain that would have required him to admit to sexual misconduct but avoid jail time.

Katsav appeared in a Jerusalem court on Tuesday and said he was rejecting the deal. He says he wants to clear his name.

Katsav stepped down in late June after four former female employees accused him of a series of sex crimes, including rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment.

His decision Tuesday is a risk. Under the plea deal, prosecutors dropped the most serious charges and he would avoid jail.

The case has drawn great attention in Israel, where the president is seen as the nation's morale compass. Elder statesman and Nobel peace laureate Shimon Peres now holds the post.