Jerusalem mother charged with child abuse
Indictment reveals rabbi instructed woman to 'repair' her children through 'beating, tying, burning organs and feeding them with faeces' By Aviram Zino April 6, 2008
By Aviram Zino
April 6, 2008
As her three-and-a-half-year-old comatose son continued to lie in his hospital bed, a Jerusalem woman was indicted Sunday by the Jerusalem District Court of abusing him and his four-and-a-half-year-old brother.
The court also indicted a family friend accused of conducting a "tikkun" (exorcism) on the children under the influence of a rabbi who fled to Canada.
Shortly after the indictment was submitted, the remand of another suspect involved in the affair was extended. The man, a acquaintance of the mother, allegedly took part in the abuse.
According to the indictment, "During the months of February and March, the accused and her children moved to her mother's apartment in Jerusalem. During this period, the mother found it difficult to cope with the burden of raining her small children, and particularly with their education.
"The defendant turned to a rabbi and asked for his advice in terms of his children's education. The rabbi concluded that the children were 'possessed' with evil spirits and advised the defendant and other suspects to carry out 'tikkunim' on the children in order to help them get rid of those demons."
The indictment went on to say that the rabbi instructed the mother to conduct "tikkunim" on the children – "meaning, jolting, beating, tying, burning organs, feeding them with faeces, and more.
"Two of the suspects were put in charge of educating the children, and systematically abused them and the defendant's other children in a large number of cases, for a long time, claiming that these 'tikkunim' were aimed at removing these evil spirits from the children."
Some of the acts of abuse were also described in the indictment. "The defendant, who knew about the abuse, continued to desert her children."
The mother was accused of "cooperating with some of the other suspects in forcibly jolting the children in at least 40 cases, grasping them in the back or shoulders, or grasping them in their hands and legs and shaking them with their heads moving back and forth and from side to side.
"The defendant and the other suspects also used to tie the children's hands and legs with plastic restraints and ropes for many hours, as well as hit one of the children in the face and bend his hands behind his back, throwing him in the air."
'Police veterans were shocked'
In one of her remand hearings, the police representative presented the judge with a photo album containing shocking pictures of the children.
"The Jerusalem Police veterans found it difficult to listen to such a shocking story," a police representative said during the previous hearing.
The mother admitted to the suspicions and went back on her confession, while the father and another person arrested denied the allegations.
"Evidence submitted to the court testifies to a long and harsh abuse," a police representative said during the hearing.
The small son, who was hospitalized at the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital's intensive care unit, suffers from brain damage which has left him in a vegetative state.
Efrat Weiss contributed to this report