Nov 16, 2016

Plea deal for sex-offender rabbi — report

November 15, 2016
Times of Israel

A rabbi who has been accused of sexually abusing several women, including a minor, is likely to sign a plea deal that would see him serve only 18 months in prison, Chanel 2 reports.

Rabbi Eliezer Berland, founder of the Shuvu Bonim religious group, was extradited to Israel earlier in the year after three years on the run that took him between Zimbabwe, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and South Africa, accompanied by a group of devout followers numbering around 40 families.

Channel 2 says that under the deal Berland will admit to only two of the cases.

Berland, 79, considered a cult-like leader to thousands of his followers from the Bratslav Hasidic sect, was on the run for years in an attempt to evade extradition to Israel.

He fought his extradition from the Netherlands in 2015 on the grounds that the alleged assaults happened in the West Bank and Israel does not have jurisdiction there. He later fled the Netherlands to avoid extradition.

He also twice escaped arrest by South African authorities, but was finally nabbed in April after entering a hospital for treatment.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/plea-deal-for-sex-offender-rabbi-report/

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