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A Petah Tikva man was arrested early on Thursday on suspicion raping a woman who regularly came to his house to get his blessing, after he presented himself as an eminent rabbi.

The woman, 37, of Ashkelon, complained to Petah Tikva Police earlier this week. She said she's visited the suspect for the past six months to get his alleged blessings and good-luck amulets.

Police say that the man, 60, also published ads in a daily paper in which he gave the victim's details and said she was looking for a ?sponsor."

The man initially denied the allegations but admitted soon after his arrest and expressed remorse.

"When the investigation started he denied the allegations and said the woman was trying to blackmail him," Superintendent Yaron Ahrak of Petah Tikva police said. "But then we realized he wasn't a rabbi and he admitted and expressed remorse."

Police will request to extend his remand at the Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court later on Thursday. They believe his arrest will induce other victims to complain, which will bolster the case against him.