Sexual harassment victim [Illustrative].
(photo credit: INIMAGE)
A well known rabbi from the city of Safed suspected of sexual assault was arrested at Ben Gurion airport last night after trying to leave the country.
The rabbi, the leader of a congregation in Safed and the dean of a yeshiva, was asked to suspend himself from his duties last week after complaints were made about alleged sexual abuse which were being investigated by a panel of local rabbis in the city, since a formal complaint to the police had yet to be made.
Such a complaint was however filed to the police against the rabbi on Wednesday afternoon, the police stated. The allegations deal with an incident that is supposed to have taken place several years ago.
The Safed police opened an investigation into the incident but are also examining whether the statue of limitations had expired for the case in question.
A second complaint was filed later on Wednesday, Channel 2 reported.
The rabbi in question is a prominent figure in the national-religious world. Concerns over ongoing, allegedly systematic abuse by the rabbi was brought to the attention of senior rabbis in the city, including Safed chief rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu.
The alleged incidents are thought to have taken place after women from the rabbi’s community approached him for advice on fertility and spirituality.
Because of the reports, the rabbi under investigation was asked by the panel of Safed rabbis agreed to suspend himself and leave the city, a request he complied with.