The effect of an elastic spontaneous distortion of the crystal lattice of a doped semiconductor Ge:As near the insulator–metal (IM) phase transition has been discovered. The effect is manifested in the electron spin resonance (ESR) of neutral As atoms as a splitting of the single resonance absorption line. It observed at electron concentrations in the range 0.8 < n/nC < 1 at low temperatures T < 100 K (nC = 3.7 × 1017 cm-3 is the critical electron concentration for the IM phase transition). The splitting is the strongest along each of the six  directions, which indicates that the local lattice distortion occurs just in these directions. As a result, a sample is possibly divided into separate domains differing in the directions of compressive or tensile deformations. A study of concentration, temperature, and angular dependences of the effect has shown that the phenomenon discovered can be understood in terms of the Peierls spin transition model.