Popular rabbi in north arrested for allegedly molesting minors
Rabbis name and community remain under gag order; police say at least three charges of molestation have been uncovered so far.
By Eli Ashkenazi • Ha’aretz
A popular rabbi from a community in the north of Israel was arrested for allegedly molesting minors, it was revealed on Friday after a gag order on the case was lifted.
The rabbi, age 60, was arrested on Thursday after he requested to leave the country for a celebration of a famous rabbi. The rabbi's name and certain details about the case are still under a gag order.
The rabbi is suspected of sodomizing a fourteen-year-old girl three years ago, as well as molesting additional minors, both male and female, over the course of this past year.
Police have been investigating this case for the last several months. The investigation has been headed by police-superintendent Ariyeh Alkobi, who says that there have been three charges of molestation uncovered thus far. Police say there are other minors who were also molested, but they have not yet filed formal complaints with police.
Alkobi said that the accusations against the rabbi took many by surprise, as he was considered a very popular figure in his community, where he has been living for over 40 years. In his community, he helped found academic institutions and non-profit organizations, and had a reputation of always being available to help advise and counsel people.
The rabbi's defense attorneys claim that people in the community are going "home to home, trying to get people to file complaints against the rabbi." They say the claims are a conspiracy created by a few people who are angry about being fired from their positions in different institutions that the rabbi ran.
The rabbis remand was extended by a week on Friday morning.
Here's Ynet's report:
Rabbi arrested on rape charges
Police say three minors complained of sexual assault by rabbi who heads schools in north
Ahiya Raved • Ynet
A rabbi who runs a number of schools in northern Israel has been arrested on suspicion he sexually assaulted three minors, the court cleared for publication Friday.
Ynet has learned that the rabbi is suspected of raping a 14-year old girl and performing indecent acts on a boy of the same age, as well as sexually assaulting another girl, also 14.
He has denied the allegations, claiming they are the product of a conspiracy against him by the schools he heads.
The rabbi was arrested Thursday while preparing to go abroad for two weeks. The Nazareth Magistrates' Court remanded his arrest by a week on Friday.
His attorney claimed before the court that the rabbi fell victim to blackmail. He said the father of the girl allegedly raped was trying to extort NIS 100,000 ($28,100) and that he was now inciting against him in public.
A police representative said three minors had come forward so far, and the court ruled that sufficient evidence had been presented to keep the rabbi in custody.
But his attorney insisted on the rabbi's innocence following the court hearing. "This man has been an education figure for close to 40 years and he has recently fired a number of people from the schools he heads. They are subsequently conspiring against him. We have evidence to this effect, including tapes and text messages" Yehuda Freid said.
[Hat Tip: YbM for the Ha'aretz article and Burich for the photo.]