Daughter of child abuser calls mother 'righteous'

Grown daughter claims details of indictment of 'Taliban mother' of 12 for severely abusing her children 'never happened.'

abuse mother 224.88 (photo credit: Channel 2)
abuse mother 224.88
(photo credit: Channel 2)
The 30-year-old daughter of a Beit Shemesh woman suspected of severely abusing her 12 children said Sunday that her mother had been unjustly defamed by police and that she was a "warm and caring" mother. "My mother is a righteous woman... everything that the indictment relates about her never happened," the daughter told reporters outside the Jerusalem courtroom where her mother's closed-door trial is underway. The daughter, who is divorced and a mother herself, has received court permission to return to her father's home with her child even though her father is still under house arrest for his alleged role in the case. "The police threatened me and scared me during the investigation," she said. "This whole story is a figment of someone's imagination who decided to make a case against my mother in order to disturb her." The woman's parents refused to talk to reporters in court. The Beit Shemesh woman, who has been dubbed "The Taliban Mother" due to her multiple layers of black garb, is charged with repeatedly beating and otherwise physically abusing six of her twelve children, giving them electric shocks and beating them with belts and sticks. According to the indictment filed in a Jerusalem court in April, the woman also beat one of her daughters in the face with a rolling pin and slammed her face into the marble kitchen counter-top. She is also accused of forcing her children to sleep outside in a locked shed when she felt they had come home late, tying up her mentally impaired son for hours at a time and ignoring his cries for help, cutting her daughters' hair as punishment, and throwing water on her children to wake them up. Her physically and psychologically abused children allegedly committed incest when they were locked up in the shed, the charge sheet says. The woman's attorney, Orna Saban, said Sunday that her client had been the victim of police "witch hunt," and that authorities forced the children to falsely testify against their mother in order to file an indictment against her. In addition to the older daughter, three of the woman's younger children were slated to testify in court on Sunday. The woman's husband, who is under house arrest in northern Israel, is suspected of knowing of and taking part in the alleged abuse, though on a lesser scale than his wife. The close-knit extremist family managed to evade law enforcement officials - despite years of reports of neglect and violence - by moving all over the country and by refusing to cooperate with social workers, the police said.