Mordechai Elon
Mordechai Elon at home in February in the northern community of Migdal. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
Text size
related tags

After concluding their investigation, police recommended on Sunday that Mordechai (Moti) Elon, a prominent religious Zionist rabbi, be tried for allegedly committing sex-related crimes.

According to police, enough evidence was found during their investigation to try Elon for alleged sexual assault by force as well as sexual assault of minors.

In February, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein instructed the police to conduct a preliminary investigation of the complaints, according to which Elon committed sexual offences against young boys that came to him for advice.

The incident began with Takana, a forum dedicated to preventing sexual harassment by prominent religious figures, on the basis of complaints of alleged sexual relations between Rabbi Elon and minors that they had accumulated.

The Takana Forum revealed details of the complaints that they received in the past from students of Rabbi Elon. "One of the first complaints submitted to the forum was against Rabbi Mordechai Elon," the group wrote on its Web site. "One claim accused him of sexual exploitation by an individual with religious authority. These are grave acts that are not open to any other interpretation."

During an investigation, police located the boy who agreed to give testimony detailing the sexual assault which he allegedly experienced at the hands of Rabbi Elon which occurred between 2005 and 2006, when the boy was a minor.

Additional investigation revealed evidence bolstering the boy's claims. Consequently, Weinstein recommended the launch of a criminal investigation against Elon. During the criminal investigation, police located another boy who also alleged that Elon had sexually assaulted him when he was a minor.

Rabbis close to Takana, the group that originally alleged sexual misconduct on the part of Elon, had said in March that police were not pressing charges against the educator because Takana had promised confidentiality to Elon's former students who had complained.