Chen’s ‘disciples’ jailed for up to 20 years

Four men tortured children, feeding them feces and locking them in suitcases; one has been in a coma since 2008 after severe beating.

November 24, 2010 06:55
1 minute read.
Elior Chen in court.

Elior Chen court 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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Jerusalem District Court Judge Nava Ben-Or sentenced four “disciples” of self-proclaimed rabbi Elior Chen to up to 20 years in prison for their sadistic brutalization of the children of one of Chen’s followers.

Ben-Or sentenced David Avraham Kugman to 20 years in jail and a one-year suspended sentence and ordered him to pay NIS 200,000 in compensation to the children. Avraham Maskalchi and Shimon Gabai were each sentenced to 17 years in jail, a one-year suspended sentence and ordered to pay NIS 100,000 in compensation.

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Roi Tzoref, who was present only part of the time during which Chen was in control of the children, was sentenced to 30 months in jail, six months’ suspended\ and ordered to pay NIS 10,000 in compensation.

Chen is being tried separately, while the mother of the children, identified as M., has already been sentenced to five years in jail for her role in the affair. She turned state’s witness and testified against her former “teacher.”

In her verdict, Ben-Or wrote, “By their actions, the defendants, particularly Kugman, Maskalchi and Gabai, subverted the most fundamental moral foundation of human society.

The inflicted a deep wound on the ability of little children to trust and rely on adults. They inflicted a mortal wound on the helpless and seriously undermined the fundamental understanding that children, by virtue of their being children, are to be defended against evil.

She also wrote that the accused did not lose their ability to distinguish right from wrong during the time they were under Chen’s direct influence.

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