Rabbi Eliezer Berland, founder of the Shuvu Banim Yeshiva who was convicted last year of sexually abusing several female followers, was released from prison Thursday.
After the allegations of sexual misconduct came to light in 2012, Rabbi Berland fled the country, travelling Europe and Africa while evading arrest and extradition.
In 2016, after years abroad, Rabbi Berland was arrested in South Africa and extradited to Israel, where he was convicted under a plea bargain agreement to two counts of sexual assault and sentenced to 18 months in prison.
According to a report by Walla News, the 80-year old rabbi, who has suffered from serious health problems since his arrest, is staying in a hospice next to the Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital in Jerusalem.
Under the terms of his probation, Rabbi Berland will be required to remain at the hospice under house arrest for the remainder of his sentence.
A team of guards will remain with Rabbi Berland, both to distance unwanted visitors from his room and to ensure the rabbi does not have unauthorized contact with anyone, either in person or by telephone.
Earlier this week a parole board approved Rabbi Berland’s request to reduce his prison sentence by one third, allowing him to serve out the rest of his term in the hospice.