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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Zionist Rabbi Faces Sexual Charges In Israel

Thursday December 08, 2011 14:11 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that a prominent Zionist Rabbi was sent to the Magistrates Court in Jerusalem, on Wednesday, facing charges of sexual assaults against two students who sought his spiritual support.
The defense attorney stated that the Rabbi, Mordechai Elon, is willing to confess to some of the charges, but only to charges that will not constitute an acknowledgement of committing a crime, Haaretz added.

The Defense Attorney, Jacob Rubin, stated that that the Rabbi did not commit any sexual assaults against his students, or any sort of indecent actions.

It is worth mentioning that Rabbi Elon is regarded to be among the spiritual leaders of religious Zionism, and also served as the head of the Hakotel yeshiva (Jewish religious school) in Jerusalem. (a Jewish educational educational institution that focuses on traditional Jewish religious texts).

The rabbi is believed to have committed sexual offenses against a 17-year old male student who went to his office seeking spiritual support after a person, close to him, died.

Elon then hugged and kissed the youth on his neck, and after the youth left his office, the Rabbi managed to seek him out and invited him to his home. The youth accepted the invitation, and when he went to the home of Rabbi, the latter kissed and hugged them again.

The second instance of abuse was committed against another 17-year-old male who also sought the spiritual support of the rabbi after a friend suggested that he should seek his support.

The youth was allegedly also molested by the Rabbi and; two months later, he had sexual encounter with the Elon that was more explicit this time, Haaretz reported.

The Rabbi went to the court on Wednesday accompanied by his wife, seven of his children, and other relatives, Haaretz said.

In February of 2010, a rabbinical forum in charge of preventing sexual abuse in Jewish religious communities issued a statement accusing Elon with sexual misconduct.

The statement claimed that after the forum, Takana, was established in 2003, one of its first complaints was against Elon for “committing sexual exploitation by a religious authority”.

The Takana ruled that Elon should retire and he left his post at the Yeshivat Hakotel, north of the country. The Takana reportedly informed the then-Attorney General Menachem Mazuz of the agreement with Elon.

The Rabbi is believed to have maintained sexual relations with several male students, but he maintained “his innocence” and stated that the truth will come out one day.

After Attorney General, Yehuda Weinstein, replaced Mazuz, he instructed the police to follow up with the investigation and to conduct a criminal investigation in the issue.

The investigators then found sufficient evidence and submitted the file to the Prosecutors’ Office in Jerusalem in January 2011.

The prosecution recommended the Elon should be indicted, and in February 2011, Elon was summoned to a pre-indictment heading. He was indicted in November 2011.

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