Supreme Court rejects appeal of rabbi sentenced for sex assault

High Court rejects appeal of Rabbi Ezra Sheinberg, says jail sentence would have been extended had he not signed a plea deal.

Tzvi Lev,

Rabbi Sheinberg
Rabbi Sheinberg
Basel Adiwat/Flash90

Ruling that "his distorted actions are very close to the hard-core definition of the offense of rape", the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by disgraced Rabbi Ezra Sheinberg to lower his jail sentence.

Alleging that he had already expressed remorse, Sheinberg had asked the court to reduce the seven and a half years he received for sexual assault. The court ruled, however, that Sheinberg should serve out the entirety of his sentence due to the severity of his actions.

"His his distorted actions are very close to the hard-core definition of the offense of rape. He took advantage of his position as rabbi and head of a community and caused the victims to think that they were receiving a treatment," read the ruling.

The Nazareth District Court had sentenced Sheinberg to 7.5 years in prison last February after he admitted to sexually abusing eight women. In total, 14 women have accused Sheinberg of manipulating them in order to take advantage of them sexually.

Sheinberg, a widely respected rabbi, was initially exposed in 2015 after several senior rabbis in Tzfat - including the city's Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu - united to have him ousted from his position as head of the Orot Ha-Ari Yeshiva.


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