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Prosecution demands jail time for convicted rabbi

Mordechai Elon, a prominent national religious leader, was found guilty of committing an indecent act against a minor

Adiv Sterman is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

The state prosecution on Thursday asked the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court to sentence Rabbi Mordechai Elon to nine to 12 months in prison after he was found guilty of sexual offenses.

The prosecution said the punishment in cases similar to Elon’s ranged from six to 18 months in prison, and suggested that the rabbi be sentenced to a period in the middle of that range.

Elon’s defense attorney, on the other hand, requested that the rabbi receive only community service and a suspended jail sentence.

In August, a Jerusalem court convicted Elon of committing an indecent act against a minor on two different occasions, but acquitted the popular national religious leader of two other charges of sexual assault and harassment.

The boy was not a student of Elon’s at the time.

The prosecution also demanded that, aside from a prison sentence, the rabbi be forced to pay compensation to the boy.

Before the allegations against him surfaced, Elon was one of the most prominent Zionist Orthodox leaders of his generation in Israel.

Elon was charged in a Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court following claims by Forum Takana, a religious group founded in 2003 that has attempted to police the Zionist Orthodox community on matters relating to sexual misconduct.

Aaron Kalman and Mitch Ginsburg contributed to this report

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