Jerusalem police said they do not believe there was a pedophile ring in the Nachlaot neighborhood of Jerusalem, contrary to widespread suspicion. In an op-ed published Tuesday in the Times of Israel, writer Gertrude Regina called the incident "a case of moral panic."
She detailed that most of those interrogated on suspicion of having molested children in the neighborhood were later released and never indicted, including the man accused of being the ringleader. "None of the suspected pedophiles has yet been convicted. Several have been indicted and are currently standing trial," Regina stated, citing extensive articles from Haaretz newspaper.
She concluded, "...to arouse people emotionally in order to get them to take action against the 'Nachlaot pedophiles,' encourages a state of moral panic which can be disastrous for everyone – even for the children..."
More then 100 children testified to police, however, according to Regina, based on statements from the police, "much of that testimony was corrupted by the improper methods the parents used to obtain it. Some mothers went door to door, trying to convince as many parents as possible that their children were molested. The children were also shown pictures of the suspected pedophiles." The investigation is still underway.