Moti Elon arraigned in Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court

Leading figure of the religious-Zionist community charged with five counts of indecent assault, and indecent assault by force against two minors.

Rabbi Mordechai Elon 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
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.
“God willing, 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 gratification.
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 conference.
He accused the Takana Forum, which initially brought the allegations to light, as having conducted a court martial against him.
“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 sentence.

Joanna Paraszczuk contributed to this report.