A rabbi was arrested, charged and convicted of child rape after he was accused of raping underage girls inside his synagogue, according to court proceedings in Israel.
Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court sentenced the rabbi to five years behind bars.
Prosecutors said that the rabbi abused his position and sexually abused minors over an extended period of time. The rabbi committed the crimes while teaching religion to students
The Israeli news website Walla reported the rabbi used to give lessons to a 17-year-old girl and her younger brother and sister, 15. The two sisters often visited the synagogue in order to clean it.
The rabbi taught lessons in the late hours of the night in order to commit sexual crimes inside the synagogue.
On one occasion, the rabbi told the girl that he loved her, and that he wanted to marry her. In one of his encounters with the teenager, they drank alcohol, and he went with her to the women's section of the synagogue where he hugged, kissed and had sex with her on the floor.
During other lessons, the rabbi was seen stroking his privates while speaking to women in the synagogue.