The Kiryat Shmona Magistrates Court has extended the detention of the northern rabbi accused of sexual abuse for an additional eight days Wednesday, until Thursday, July 23.
Judge Ruth Spielberg Cohen explained that since the rabbi was arrested, a great deal of investigative work has been done into the case. Among the findings: that the number of complainants has been confirmed as 2-10 women. Unofficial reports have so far listed the number of women who came forward as eight.
"Investigative actions were and continue to be made in the present, and this morning material evidence was added to the case," she said. ''Charges against the suspect strengthened significantly at several levels, among other things due to his own version of events."
The rabbi met with three of the complainants on Tuesday night, Channel 2 reported – the first time since the affair broke. The conflict evolved into a loud dispute between the parties as the complainants spared no words for the accused.
The confrontation follows the publication of an emotional open letter to the rabbi from one of his alleged victims on Monday night.
The rabbi, who was the dean of a yeshiva, was arrested while trying to flee Israel at Ben-Gurion airport last week. Soon after his arrest, he was admitted to Ziv Hospital in Tzfat after feeling unwell, but was released several days later in apparent good health.
He was due to be identified by the press following a decision by the Nazareth District Court that revealing his identity was "in the public interest," but that decision has been frozen pending an appeal by his defense team.
On Friday, Arutz Sheva exposed several damning details about the case, including the fact that the rabbi allegedly admitted his offenses to Tzfat Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu – but then has claimed over and over again that the allegations are "nonsense." The rabbi's defense attorney also accused the women of lying, stating at one point, "who remembers this stuff 13 years later?"