Takana's Promise of Secrecy to Accusers Keeping Police From Charging Rabbi Elon

Rabbis close to Takana, the group that originally alleged sexual misconduct on the part of Rabbi Mordechai (Moti) Elon, say police are not pressing charges against the educator because Takana had promised confidentiality to Elon's former students who had complained. "The police were dependent on us but we could do nothing," one rabbi said.

Police said Sunday that their initial investigation indicates the relations Elon allegedly had with young men who came to him for counseling did not violate any laws, as men supposedly involved were of legal age and gave their consent, and the alleged acts would not constitute abuse of Elon's authority.

Takana investigates allegations of sexual abuse in the Orthodox community, and the rabbis close to it say the group has received five or six new complaints against Elon "ranging from the most serious complaints to complaints of slight harassment." However, the rabbis who heard the complaints promised not to reveal the identity of the accusers and not go to to the police. "The complainants did not want to go to the police and that is their right. A police complaint means cross-referencing information, investigation, lawyers. These are not people who can withstand this, and we respect our pledge to them," one rabbi said.

Takana has so far not released a statement following reports the police intend to close the case against Elon. "When the police make an official statement, we will also respond," a source in Takana said.

Rabbis involved in the case said they were not surprised by the apparent closing of the police file. "In any case, the most serious incidents, to our minds, are not criminal according to the existing law. There is no such thing as a criminal offense stemming from the authority and powers of a rabbi" when the individuals involved are over 18, a source in the group said. "Still, we stand behind our public statement. We cannot stand idly by and allow the matter not to be dealt with. It was important to us to warn the public, regardless of whether the matter was criminal."