'Child-starving mom' gets plea bargain

Defendant to serve three years' house arrest for abuse.

starving mom 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi)
starving mom 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi)
The Jerusalem mother who allegedly starved her child will not serve a prison sentence, according a plea bargain reached Thursday, which the defendant had long been reluctant to sign on advice from her rabbis.
The deal was preceded by months of tumultuous negotiations between prosecutors and the defense, which had sought unsuccessfully to release the defendant from house arrest.
Rabbi Avraham Froelich, with whom the mother had been staying since the case began, burst into the court and shouted for her not to admit anything she didn't do.
The case caused uproar among haredim in Israel, culminating in violent demonstrations against the mother’s arrest.
The Jerusalem District Court trial has entered the evidence phase, with testimony by the doctor who treated the child on his admittance to hospital. The doctor testified that the child underwent hundreds of unnecessary tests that caused him unnecessary suffering and health risks, until the doctors solved the mystery of his malnutrition symptoms, which disappeared after the mother was removed from his care.
The mother has also been accused of removing a feeding tube connected to her child, making him scream with pain.
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According to the plea bargain, the defendant will plead guilty and be convicted of abuse and starvation charges. She will be sentenced to three years' house arrest with her mother and the baby she gave birth to recently under full medical supervision and treatment.
The mother will have visitation rights to see her other children once a week. They will be removed from her home to institutions or foster families to be determined by the social services. She will not be allowed to have unsupervised contact with them for five years.