Sexual abuse allegations lodged in W. Bank yeshiva

Accused counselor is being held by police, who suspect he abused students at another school as well.

Haredi ultra-orthodox yeshiva students 311 (photo credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)
Haredi ultra-orthodox yeshiva students 311
(photo credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)
Two students at a West Bank yeshiva have accused a counselor of sexual abuse. The counselor is also suspected of possibly carrying out similar acts against students at a separate institution where he also taught.
As first reported on the Kipa news website, two students at a boarding school gave testimony earlier this month that the counselor touched their genitals when waking them up in the morning. They also claimed that he told them to perform sexual acts for his own gratification. Three other students also gave testimony supporting the complaints.
The counselor was responsible for educational activities during student leisure time and for waking the students up in the morning.
After the students approached the staff with the claims, the school decided to immediately suspend the counselor until further notice and replace him.
The teaching staff also convened a meeting with the students to tell them why the counselor was being replaced.
According to the school principal, who spoke with The Jerusalem Post on Saturday night, the school immediately contacted a welfare official on the day that the students first made the allegations, and also contacted the police and Education Ministry.
The police took the testimony of the five students and spoke with the school staff, who provided complete cooperation.
In light of the testimony, the police claim that the suspect carried out indecent acts on minors through the exploitation of his authority.
He has been brought several times this month for remand hearings in the Beersheba District Court and is currently being held in custody.
The suspect denies the allegations and claims that he carried out the acts attributed to him to teach the students about modesty and sexuality as a continuation of lessons he had given them on the subject.