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Jerusalem rabbi arrested on suspicion of sex offenses against followers

Suspect in his 50s was a ‘spiritual father figure’ to alleged victims; two of his close associates also detained following two-month undercover investigation

Illustrative image of a criminal in handcuffs. (YakobchukOlena/iStock, by Getty Images)
Illustrative image of a criminal in handcuffs. (YakobchukOlena/iStock, by Getty Images)

Israel Police arrested a Jerusalem rabbi on suspicion of sex offenses against women in his community, the force said in a statement Wednesday.

The man, in his fifties, was detained as were two of his close associates.

Police did not say in what area of the capital the suspect is based.

The arrests came following two months of undercover investigation against the suspect that began after police received complaints from women of alleged sex offenses, exploitation and financial offenses.

Police said the rabbi is involved in convincing secular people to become religious and had acted as a “spiritual father figure” to the victims.

Investigators suspect the rabbi committed the alleged acts by claiming they served a spiritual purpose on the path to becoming religious.

Police suspect that in one incident the rabbi sexually assaulted a woman on the day of her wedding, explaining to her that it was necessary for the sanctity of her matrimony, Haaretz reported.

Police said they will request the court extend the remand of all of the subjects.

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