Additional complaints filed against prominent Israeli rabbi accused of rape

Three additional complaints of sexual assault were filed Monday night against a well-known rabbi facing accusations of rape.

The rabbi was arrested Thursday evening at Ben-Gurion International Airport when he tried to leave the country. His remand was extended until Wednesday and a gag order was issued.

The story began last week, when three leading rabbis decided to expel the suspect from the city where he runs several religious institutions, after they received information regarding alleged sexual crimes he committed. At that stage, the police had not received any complaints against the rabbi.

Last week, in the wake of reports of his expulsion, a woman filed a police complaint for sexual harassment ostensibly committed 13 years ago. The complaint is being investigated, including whether the statute of limitations applies.

That same night, another woman filed a complaint for rape that allegedly took place a few years ago. A source involved in the story claimed Thursday that more complaints are expected. A spokesman for the Northern District of Israel Police declined to give details.

The suspect’s attorney, Efraim Damari told Haaretz last week that the rabbi denies the acts attributed to him. “He’s cooperating fully with the police, giving his complete version. At this point we’ll wait for the conclusion of the investigation. The rabbi believes that this is groundless slander.”


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