Police Believe Man Posed as Rabbi to Rape and Defraud Women

Police believe man, 59, convinced a mother to send her daughter, 12, to him for counseling, where they suspect he raped her.

Police suspect a 59-year-old Rishon Letzion posed as a rabbi in order to sexually assault women who came to him for counseling. The man was a former official in the security establishment, and police say they suspect he also managed to extort hundreds of thousands of shekels out of the same women he allegedly sexually assaulted.

Police believe that over the course of 15 years, Nissim Aharon would call women in distress and encourage them to seek help by speaking to a well-known rabbi he said he knew in Jerusalem. Aharon would then allegedly call the women a few days later from a different phone number pretending to be the rabbi. According to police, he would invite the women to meet with him, promising that by returning to religious observance and studying with him their personal problems would be solved. It was during these meetings that police suspect Aharon, posing as a "holy man" would sexually assault his victims.

In one case, police suspect Aharon convinced the mother of a 12-year-old girl who had still not begun menstruating to send the daughter to "the rabbi" for counseling. Police believe Aharon told the woman that if her daughter sleeps with the rabbi, she will begin to menstruate. The mother sent her daughter to Aharon, and he allegedly sexually assaulted her.

Fraud investigators have launched a probe against the man, due to suspicion that he extorted large amounts of money from his alleged victims.

Police suspect there may be a large number of additional victims, and they expect more women to come forward now that the allegations have been publicized.