‘Rabbi used mystical threats to force girl to have sex'

Netanya Rabbi David Ben-Haham Hafuta charged with forcing a 13-year-old girl into having sex with him by exploiting his authority.

311_gavel (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
A 64-year-old community rabbi from Netanya was charged on Monday at the Petah Tikva District Court with forcing a 13-year-old girl into having sex with him by exploiting his authority and using “mystical threats” to intimidate her.
The defendant, named as Rabbi David Ben-Haham Hafuta, was arrested on May 30, and is charged with carrying out sexual acts on three occasions with the girl, after telling her that she had to “repair her sins” and that she would be “the mother of the messiah.”
“The defendant used sayings and threats which were apparently based on mystical foundations in order to intimidate and enchant the minor, and convince her to hold sexual relations with her,” said the charge sheet.
The girl was interviewed by a child investigator and found to be credible, state prosecutors said.
“The defendant is a local community rabbi and is a well known local figure... He threatened the minor with mystical threats, telling her that if she did not carry out his orders, her mother would die – and that if she told others about his acts, she would suffer a heart attack,” it added.
The girl had approached the rabbi for religious advice, and he in turn said he wanted to “reveal to her the role she would play in the world,” charge sheet said.
Between July and August 2010, the defendant picked up the girl at a Netanya intersection and drove her to a local beach.
In the car, “he told her she was destined to be the mother of the messiah and that she had to repair all of her sinful acts that she committed until now. The way to repairing these acts was to hold sexual relations,” the charge sheet said.
He then held a “marriage ceremony” with the girl, and swore her to secrecy.
The two then exited vehicle, but the girl became frightened and said she could not go through with the sexual act. Nevertheless, the defendant took the girl back into the vehicle, and carried out sexual acts with her in the back seat.
“He told her on several occasions that she has destructive forces that could cause the deaths of people, and that she must control those forces by having sex with him. He also warned that her mother ‘had to go’ and that she had to save her,” state prosecutors said.