13:15
Reported

News Brief

  5/28/2013, Sivan 19, 5773

Charge Dropped in Rabbi Abuse Affair


One charge has been dropped against a prominent Israeli rabbi accused of abuse. The State Attorney's Office announced that the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court has dropped one charge due to lack of evidence. "Towards the end of the prosecution case and after prolonged attempts to bring evidence in court regarding the second charge, it became clear that the complainant was determined not to testify," the prosecutor's office said in a statement on February 26, 2013. The announcement received little coverage in the English press.

The rabbi in question still has one other charge against him, alleging that he gave unwanted physical attention to an underage student. The rabbi was the head of a prominent yeshiva in Jerusalem and the founder of an educational institution. He has authored several books and hosted a television and radio program. He belongs to a prominent Israeli family. Thousands have come to him for guidance over the years and he became known for his outgoing personality. The charge, originally made public in 2010, alleges that the rabbi hugged and kissed two high school students in two separate incidents in 2003 and 2005. The rabbi has maintained his innocence and has refused a plea bargain, stating that he has often hugged students as a sign of warmth, something typical in many segments of Israeli society. He was accused of sexual harassment. Hundreds of former students and supporters came out in support of the rabbi, alleging that the accuser may be psychologically unwell. The first charge, similar in nature, will still go to trial.