Sex offender demands restraining order for Rabbi who exposed him

Yona Weinberg, a convicted sex offender, files request with court to prevent Rabbi from raising awareness about his offenses.

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Shai Landesman,

Orthodox activists in the US protest to improve sex abuse reporting
Orthodox activists in the US protest to improve sex abuse reporting
JTA Photo Service

Yona Weinberg, a convicted sex offender from the United States who is now living in the Har Nof neighborhood in Jerusalem, is stepping up litigation against Rabbi Ya'akov Horowitz, an American Rabbi who's been warning people living around Weinberg of his past.

Rabbi Horowitz is slated to give a lecture in a Har Nof community center about protecting the community and especially children from sexual harassment and abuse. Horowitz is well-known in the US as an activist for the cause of raising awareness of sex abuse of children in the Jewish community.

Weinberg, 37, was convicted on two counts of sexual abuse of minors, 13-year-old boys who he was teaching for their Bar-Mitzvahs, in 2009. He served 13 months in prison for the offenses. His name and picture are listed in the US sex offenders database, and was designated as someone who still poses a significant threat to the public.

Rabbi Horowitz tweeted a warning to Har Nof residents to "beware of convicted sex offender Yona Weinberg", for which Weinberg sued him for slander.

Subsequently, Weinberg filed a request with the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court for a restraining order on Rabbi Horowitz, and that his speech in Har Nof be cancelled.

Yesterday (Tuesday), the court rejected the request, but forbade Horowitz from mentioning Weinberg's name during the speech.

"I've payed my debt to society and should be left alone," Weinberg said in conversation with Ynet, "There are people who are inciting against me. Who want to hurt me. I'm innocent."

Weinberg's attorney Lior Gideon, said that "this is a man [Rabbi Horowitz], who's been operating against my client for two whole years, publishing things on the internet that elicit serious responses from fanatics in my client's neighborhood. You can't run a witch-hunt against someone who, at most, was guilty of two offenses against children in the US."

Rabbi Horowitz, on the other hand, says that the fact that Weinberg still claims his innocence makes him all the more dangerous. "He still claims until today that he's not a pedophile, and it's exactly this that makes him a great danger," Horowitz said.