Rabbi Mordechai Elon 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
The Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office filed an indictment on Wednesday
afternoon against Rabbi Mordechai Elon, charging him with five counts of
indecent assault, and indecent assault by force.
According to the
indictment, which was filed in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, Elon, 51, the
former head of Yeshivat Hakotel and a leading figure in the religious-Zionist
world, exploited his position as a revered figure in carrying out the offenses
against two minors.
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In January 2003, according to the indictment, Elon
held a private meeting in his office at Yeshivat Hakotel in the capital with a
17-year-old student, identified as “Bet,” who had lost a personal acquaintance
in a traffic accident that day. During the meeting, Elon allegedly hugged Bet,
drew him close and kissed him on the neck. Similar incidents occurred
later the same day and again several weeks later.
In July 2005, another
17-yearold boy, identified as “Alef,” allegedly arranged a meeting with Elon at
the offices of an educational NGO in Jerusalem of which he was the director, to
discuss a family crisis. Alef was recommended to speak with Elon by a friend who
had previously consulted with the rabbi on personal issues.
meeting in his private office, the indictment alleges that Elon forcibly sat
Alef down on his lap and inappropriately stroked him on his head, stomach and knees.
The indictment was filed after Elon rejected a
plea bargain offered to him by the prosecution on Sunday night, 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 subjected to a
Elon denies the charges and says nothing he did was
for sexual gratification, and that his actions were misunderstood.
February, 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.
After refusing the plea bargain, Elon
announced that his lawyer, Yair Golan, had ceased to represent him.
then, Elon has hired a new lawyer, Zion Amir. One of the country’s most
prominent criminal attorneys, Amir represented several public figures, most
notably former president Moshe Katsav.
“The rabbi insists he is perfectly
innocent and intends to fight to prove that innocence,” Amir told the media on
Elon has headed several Jewish, religious and social
organizations and institutions, and hosted television and radio shows. He also
headed a bible study group held at the President’s Residence.
Elon is the
son of former Supreme Court deputy president Menachem Elon, and his four
siblings include former tourism minister Benny Elon and current Beersheba
District Court President Joseph Elon.