Police: Sex crime charges against Elon

Prominent Rabbi suspected of forceful sexual molestation.

Rabbi Mordechai Elon 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
Rabbi Mordechai Elon 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
Police have sufficient evidence to press charges against Rabbi Mordechai Elon in the allegations of sexual abuse leveled against him by former students, police said on Sunday.
The allegations include forceful sexual molestation, and sexual molestation against at least two minors. The police will pass the investigative file to the Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office.
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In mid-February, police opened an investigation into allegations against Elon, following a meeting between Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein and head of the police investigative branch Cmdr. Yoav Segelovich.
The decision came less than a week after Takana, a rabbinical forum that probes allegations of sexual abuse within the religious community, posted a warning on its Web site demanding that the rabbi step down from all teaching, rabbinical, and community responsibilities, saying he poses a threat to the public.
Two days later, Takana posted a statement that said that Elon stood accused of having sexual relations with male students in the past.
In October 2006, then-attorney-general Menahem Mazuz instructed police not to open a criminal investigation into allegations against Elon.
A day after the allegations were made public in February, Takana leaders held an emergency meeting with Elon. Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, a member of Takana, said at the time that Elon admitted to the acts during the meeting and that in the days following the publication of the allegations, 10 more former students of the rabbi filed complaints against him to the forum.
Elon, 50, was widely respected in the nationa-lreligious community and headed some of the most prominent houses of learning in religious Zionism, including the Horev and Hakotel yeshivas in Jerusalem.
He was also the host of a popular TV program on the weekly Torah portion and worked to build understanding and cooperation between the religious and secular sectors.
His family is one of the most prominent in the religious- Zionist community. His brother Benny is a former MK and tourism minister, and his father, Menahem Elon, is a former Supreme Court justice.