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Israeli rabbi charged with sexual assault

JTA

November 2, 2011 | 11:55 am

Modern Orthodox leader Rabbi Mordechai “Motti” Elon was indicted for the sexual assault of a minor.

The Jerusalem prosecutors’ office filed the indictment Wednesday with the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court.

The alleged assault took place in 2005 against a student who had come to Elon for advice, according to the indictment. Another offense reportedly took place in 2003.

Elon has denied the charges, saying that his actions were misunderstood. He reportedly turned down a plea bargain offered by prosecutors.

Accusations of sexual misconduct against Elon were first investigated by a Modern Orthodox forum that deals with complaints of sexual harassment in the religious school system. The forum in 2006 ordered that Elon no longer have contact with students. Shortly after, Elon left his teaching positions and moved from Jerusalem to the northern moshav Migdal, citing health reasons.

The rabbi is the brother of former Knesset member Benny Elon and the son of former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Menachem Elon. The former rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat HaKotel in Jerusalem, Elon is the founder of the MiBereshit educational program, which is distributed throughout the world in Hebrew and English.

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