Police to Advise Closing Sex Crimes Case Against Moti Elon

The police are expected to announce that there is no basis for a criminal investigation against Mordechai (Moti) Elon, a prominent religious Zionist rabbi who last month was accused of committing sex-related crimes.

Police said a preliminary probe indicates that while Elon did engage in sexual activity with young men, he did not violate any laws because they were of legal age and gave their consent.

After the completion of the preliminary probe, investigators will present their findings to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein. Last month, Weinstein ordered the head of the police intelligence branch, Maj. Gen. Yoav Segalovich, to follow up on allegations aired against Elon by members of Takana, an umbrella group of religious Zionist organizations aimed at preventing and dealing with sexual harassment by religious leaders.

Takana said it had been dealing with the Elon matter "following complaints received by the forum about acts contrary to the values of sanctity and morality, which to our great sorrow have been found to have a basis in fact."

"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."

According to Takana, a small subcommittee was first notified of the initial complaint. Its members then confronted Elon about the allegations, to which the rabbi replied that he had completely overcome his problem. He said "these were old incidents and there would not be a repeat of new ones."

A year later, Takana received another complaint stating that Elon had maintained "a relationship of a clear sexual nature over an extended period of time." The complaint prompted the group to limit Elon's activity. When the rabbi failed to adhere to the restrictions, the members of the group elected to publicize the details of the affair.

Investigators met with members of Takan who had reviewed the complaints. Police also interviewed Elon's alleged victims.

Since these cases have exceeded the statute of limitations, and given the difficulty in persuading those who filed complaints to take the charges to the police, investigators have decided that a criminal investigation would not yield an indictment.

While Takana members refused to comment on the latest developments, rabbis from the religious Zionist community said they were not surprised by the police decision.