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Monday, August 9, 2010

Police Want Rabbi Mordechai Elon Tried For Sex Crimes

According to police, enough evidence was found during their investigation to try Elon for alleged sexual assault by force as well as sexual assault of minors

After closing their investigation, police recommended on Sunday that Mordechai (Moti) Elon, a prominent religious Zionist rabbi, be tried for allegedly committing sex-related crimes.

According to police, enough evidence was found during their investigation to try Elon for alleged sexual assault by force as well as sexual assault of minors.

In February, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein instructed the police to conduct a preliminary investigation of the complaints, according to which Elon committed sexual offences against youths that came to him for advice.

The incident began with Takana, a forum dedicated to preventing sexual harassment by prominent religious figures, on the basis of complaints of alleged sexual relations between Rabbi Elon and minors that they had accumulated.

The Takana Forum revealed details of the complaints that they received in the past from students of Rabbi Elon. "One of the first complaints submitted to the forum was against Rabbi Mordechai Elon," the group wrote on its Web site. "One claim accused him of sexual exploitation by an individual with religious authority. These are grave acts that are not open to any other interpretation."

During an investigation, police located the boy who agreed to give testimony detailing the sexual assault which he allegedly experienced at the hands of Rabbi Elon which occurred between 2005 and 2006, when the boy was a minor.

After additional investigation revealed evidence bolstering the boy's claims, Weinstein recommended opening a criminal investigation against Elon. During the criminal investigation, police located another boy who also claimed that Elon allegedly sexually assaulted him when he was a minor.

Rabbis close to Takana, the group that originally alleged sexual misconduct on the part of Elon, had said in March that police were not pressing charges against the educator because Takana had promised confidentiality to Elon's former students who had complained

Police: Charge Rabbi Elon with sexual abuse
Police say there is enough evidence to indict Religious-Zionist leader, half a year after religious forum charged with handling sexual harassment cases announces he violated agreement barring him from rabbinical activity
Eli Senyor • Ynet

The police announced on Sunday that there is enough evidence against Rabbi Mordechai (Motty) Elon, who is suspected of committing indecent acts by force against two minors, to put him on trial.

The investigation material was handed over to the Jerusalem District Prosecution, which is slated to hold a hearing prior to submitting an indictment against Elon.

In February, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein asked that a police investigation be launched against the rabbi following complaints of sexual harassment published by the Takana forum. Elon, a senior rabbi in the Religious-Zionism movement, was banned from any and all rabbinical and pedagogical activity four years ago.

The affair became public when rabbis and academicians published an announcement linking Elon to a sex scandal after the rabbi violated the agreement limiting his activities.

The announcement published by the Takana forum, the Religious-Zionist body charged with handling cases of sexual abuse among the movement's leaders, claimed that a specially organized team had been dealing with Elon's case for some time after receiving complaints of "acts contrary to the values of holiness and morality."

A team working under the auspices of the police's Lahav Unit succeeded in reaching a number of complainants, young boys who had allegedly been sexually assaulted by Elon. During the investigation, one of the witnesses agreed to give a full detailed testimony incriminating Rabbi Elon of committing indecent acts on him when he was a minor.

The investigators examined other leads that corroborated the complainant's testimony.

Rabbi Elon was summoned for investigation under warning on suspicions that he sexually assaulted the said witness. During the investigation, another minor told of indecent acts that the rabbi committed against him, prompting a second investigation of the rabbi.

Upon conclusion of the investigation, the team wrote, "A wide range of evidence has been found against Rabbi Elon for committing indecent acts by force and indecent acts against a minor."

Elon's legal counsel, Attorney Yair Golan, said, "We are convinced that a thorough examination will clarify that the rabbi did not commit any offense, and, ultimately, we hope that an indictment will not be filed against him. Rabbi Elon cooperated during his investigation, answered all questions asked, and denied committing any offense. Rabbi Elon will continue to fight for the truth and his good reputation."

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