U.K. Police Drop Sex Assault Investigation Into Golders Green Rabbi

Rabbi Chaim Halpern was arrested February after allegations that he assaulted members in his community surfaced.

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London's Metropolitan Police announced Friday that it was dropping the investigation into the allegations against a Golders Green rabbi, Chaim Halpern, the Jewish Chronicle Online reported.

"Regarding allegations of sexual assault has resulted in no charges being brought against a 54-year-old man," the Jewish Chronicle cited the police as saying. The officers in the case "confirm that all allegations have been fully investigated", it added.

The police arrested Halpern in the north London neighborhood of Golders Green in February after months in which he had been accused of sexually abusing a large number of women who came to him for family guidance. According to some people, the report said, the number of victims was as high as 30.

Halpern, the scion of one of the more influential Haredi families in the country, was the rabbi of a community in Golders Green and formerly a Dayan (rabbinical judge) of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, which is the main ultra-Orthodox establishment in Britain. He has reportedly been pressured into resigning from his religious positions and a special ad-hoc rabbinical court has been convened to hear the allegations against him.

Accusations against Halpern have been circulating in London's insular Haredi world for at least six months now and a ruling by senior rabbis that he is unfit to fulfill religious posts was issued in December. Despite the rabbis' edict, a small number of followers continued to back Halpern who, while resigning from his official positions, reportedly continued to hold services in the small synagogue at his home. The special beit din (rabbinical court) was due to reconvene in two weeks but there has been a great deal of criticism within the community that the court was basically trying to whitewash the allegations and many of Halpern's original accusers reportedly failed to appear before the beit din.

Golders Green, London.Credit: Wikipedia Commons