Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mother to testify against Jerusalem child abuse ringleader

Last update - 22:45 01/03/2009
Mother to testify against Jerusalem child abuse ringleader
By Ofra Edelman, Haaretz Correspondent
Tags: Jerusalem, Elior Chen
The partner of Elior Chen, a spiritual leader who is suspected of orchestrating the worst case of systematic child abuse in Israel's history, signed a plea bargain with Jerusalem prosecutors. The deal obligates Chen's romantic partner to testify against Chen and other accomplices suspected of abusing a number of children. The woman admitted to authorities that she did not act to prevent Chen and others from abusing his children. In her statement to prosecutors, she included incriminating statements against Chen which are believed to significantly strengthen the government's case and the investigation against Chen.

Chen is the leader of a group whose members are accused of abusing a number of children in Jerusalem. It was later revealed that the alleged victims include the children of one of the members of the group. At this point, Chen fled to Canada together with his family. Chen is currently in Brazil, where authorities are in the midst of efforts to complete his extradition to Israel. Police say Chen and his followers struck infants in the head with wooden hammers, shook them, beat them with fists, forced their bodies to lean against radiators, and force-fed them faeces.

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