Rabbi charged in sexual assualt case

By Jennifer Lipman, November 2, 2011

A well-known Israeli rabbi has been indicted over sexual assault allegations.

The Jerusalem prosecutors' office filed an indictment today charging Rabbi Mordechai "Motti" Elon with the sexual assault of a minor six years ago. According to the prosecutors the alleged victim, who was a student of 17 at the time, had visited the rabbi seeking advice.

According to the indictment this was not the only incident of sexual assault and abuse of authority; there were others involving male students in 2003 and 2005.

The authorities began looking into the case last year after senior Israeli rabbis from the group Takana publicly accused Rabbi Elon of conducting long-term sexual relationships with a number of his students. Rabbi Elon has denied the incidents took place.

The rabbi, a prominent figure who is seen as one of the leading rabbis in the religious Zionist and settler movements, is well known for his long-running television show. His father used to sit on Israel's Supreme Court, while his brother is a former cabinet minister.

Last updated: 7:06pm, November 2 2011