Rabbi Mordechai Elon 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
Rabbi Mordechai Elon was formally arraigned on Wednesday in the Jerusalem
Magistrate’s Court. He is charged with five counts of indecent assault, and
indecent assault by force against two minors.
The rabbi, who is a leading
figure in the religious- Zionist community and the former head of Yeshivat
Hakotel, arrived at the magistrate’s court accompanied by his two sisters, his
wife and his two children.
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During the hearing, Elon’s counsel requested
that the trial be conducted in full public view, without revealing the identity
of the complainants.
Most trials dealing with alleged sexual abuse are
not open to the public.
Elon’s attorney, Yaakov Rubin, stated that Elon
“acknowledges the facts presented in the indictment that are not criminal
offenses, but vehemently denies that the acts that were done were for any sexual
purpose, as alleged in the indictment.”
A detailed response to the
indictment will be given by the defense on January 21.
Rabbi Elon will be completely exonerated, with a stainless record, and all the
accusations against him, which are hanging by a thread, will be completely
discredited,” Rubin said following the hearing.
According to the
indictment, which was filed in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court in November,
Elon, 51, allegedly interacted with two 17- year-old students in an
inappropriate manner, including hugging, holding, stroking and kissing them. The
indictment alleges that the acts were carried out for sexual
Following his indictment, Elon vigorously denied the
allegations against him.
“I never, heaven forfend, carried out any acts
with sexual intent toward any of my students,” Elon stated at a press
He accused the Takana Forum, which initially brought the
allegations to light, as having conducted a court martial against
“What has been done to me was undemocratic, against Halacha, against
the Torah and against humanity,” he said.
In February this year, the
State Attorney’s Office announced its decision to press charges after a police
investigation against Elon had been conducted at the request of Attorney-
General Yehuda Weinstein.
The indictment was filed after Elon rejected a
plea bargain offered to him by the prosecution, saying he would not admit to
crimes he did not commit. Elon was offered a deal in which he would have had to
enter a guilty plea, but would not have been subject to a custodial
Joanna Paraszczuk contributed to this report.