Six teachers at a school of the Belz Hasidic community in Tel Aviv were indicted Tuesday for sadistically abusing 22 preschool and elementary school boys over the course of more than a decade, with one teacher being charged with sexually abusing them.
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The indictment, filed in Tel Aviv District Court, accuses one teacher, Avraham Rosenfeld, of numerous acts of sodomy against the boys, indecent acts, extortion and threatening pupils. The five other teachers are charged with various acts of violent abuse and assault on the pupils for a decade or more. The indictment is based on complaints from 22 of their former pupils over the years 2000 to 2011.
The defendants, ages 40 to 60, worked as teachers and homeroom teachers for many boys aged three to 10 in the Talmud Torah Mahzikei Hadat elementary school and preschool of the Belz Hasidic community.
Rosenfeld is accused of ordering boys to come into the recess room, where he would offer them candy, then carry out a variety of sexual acts on them. In addition, he is charged with beating pupils with sticks all over their bodies in front of the class.
Rosenfeld is further charged with tying children to their chairs with ropes and plastic strips, placing a spoonful of black pepper or soap in their mouths, and forbidding them to spit it out, leaving them to cry. He is also accused of prohibiting the children from going to the bathroom, instead ordering them to restrain themselves or relieve themselves in their pants, after which he would order them to clean it up.
The other teachers charged are Yisrael Haim Shapira, Haim Fishgrund, Moshe Hirsch, Menachem Albershtein and Avraham Pinchas Deitsch.
They are accused of hitting the children, including with boards, and putting soap in their mouths. Albershtein is also accused of pouring boiling tea on one pupil.
Rosenfeld is additionally accused of abusing animals in front of the boys, once allegedly abusing a cat and ultimately killing it in front of them after the cat entered his classroom. He is further charged with abusing his son and threatening his wife.
“Beginning in 2000 through approximately 2011, on a large number of occasions and on a systematic, daily basis, the defendants used physical and mental violence on minors that was characterized by brutality, humiliation and the imposing of terror, while exploiting the relationship of dependence and authority between the defendants and the minors,” the indictment states.