Ya'akov Chen, the brother of Elior Chen, who was charged with eight counts of abusing and assaulting minors, came to his sibling's defense hours after the indictment was served on Monday, dismissing the accusations.
The self-styled rabbi allegedly influenced some of his followers to abuse their children in order to "correct their corrupt souls. His alleged crimes came to light after two brothers, an unconscious three-year-old and his four-and-a-half-year-old sibling, were rushed to the hospital on March 12, 2008 in serious condition. The younger child suffered severe brain damage and is still unconscious in a Jerusalem-area hospital.
Speaking to Army Radio just after midday on Monday, Chen said it "just cannot be" that his brother committed such offenses, and dismissed the existence of a cult.
"Cult-shmult, it's one big bluff," he said. "The whole thing has been made up."