23 March 2015
Once again it happened: a resident of Beitar Illit, abused his four daughters for twenty years, without them being able to protect themselves. This morning, he was indicted for serious crimes.
Serious charges were laid this morning against a 49-year-old Beitar Illit resident. It is alleged that for 20 years he sexually and otherwise abused his four daughters. What is especially appalling is that the defendant, who freely admits to carrying out his horrific deeds, is blaming his daughters.
This is apparently a perfectly run of the mill married man who is respected within his community. But behind the mask there a person who seriously abused helpless children.
Jerusalem District Attorney Office, represented by lawyer Lizu Wolfus, submitted the charge sheet, and filed a request to keep the man in custody until the end of proceedings.
"The accused’s response to the police allegations revealed a highly warped mode of thinking” the prosecution submitted as part of request to keep the man in custody. “That clearly indicate that he presents a serious danger.”
About a month ago, a Haredi man from the centre of the country was sentenced to twenty years' imprisonment for severely abused three of his daughters, on hundreds of occasions for over two decades since 1988. The abused continued from the time they were six and a half to 11 years old till they got married at age of 18-19.
In a precedent-setting ruling, his wife, the mother of the girls, was sentenced to three years in prison for keeping silent while being aware of the abuse. The girls had told her about it, and in response she told them that it was happening in every second home. She further persuaded them not to contact the police or welfare authorities, asserting that these institutions were “destroying families."
Burnt children alive for 20 years
Lawyer Rebecca Shwartz, who founded Min Hameitzar, an organisation devoted to providing legal aid to victims of crime in the Haredi community, responded to the verdict. She told Behadrey Haredim: "This is a terrible case which cannot even be imagined; how a father would do that to his own children. We were horrified to hear that seven children were burnt [in Brooklyn] and everyone cried over it, while at the same time fathers burn their children every day within the walls of their home. This was a comparison which I discovered while reading the transcript.”
Shwartz says that one reason for the abuse is, "the perpetrator’s ignorance. I keep on encountering this motif in many cases, including this one. The perpetrator tends to rely on the notion that the victims contributed to the abuse". According to her, they don’t understand that any cooperation by the child is totally meaningless. "Widespread exposure of the cases and the dealing with them to the full extent of the law would cause other potential abusers to know, that the consent of the child does not diminish the severity of the offence, ignorance would be removed and there will be a deterrent."
Translated by Sol Salbe of the Middle East News Service Melbourne Australia.
*Original Hebrew article is available at http://www.bhol.co.il/article.aspx?id=81508&cat=1&scat=1.