|Posted on October 19, 2013 at 9:05 PM|
Sadistic cult leader sentenced to 26 years, abused & enslaved women and children
Sadistic cult leader sentenced to 26 years
Man abused and enslaved six women and dozens of children, some of whom continue to support him
By Stuart Winer and Spencer Ho October 17, 2013
A man who headed a religious cult that physically, mentally, and sexually abused a group of women and their children was sentenced to 26 years behind bars by the Jerusalem District Court on Thursday.
The man, 58, who has remained unnamed in the media, was also ordered to pay a total of NIS 100,000 (some $28,000) to his victims. A second man, who was an accomplice in the crimes, was sentenced to six years in prison. The separate trial of a third man involved in the case is still underway.
Prosecuting lawyer Sagi Ofer had asked for a sentence of 65 years for the cult leader and 20 years for his deputy....
Last month the man and his assistant were found guilty of sex offenses, violence, confinement in conditions of slavery, and abuse of women and minors, including some of who are his own children. The court found that the man exploited his family’s religious faith, and their belief in him as a spiritual leader, in order to perpetrate the crimes against them....
The case shocked the country when it came to light in August 2011 after one of the women broke free and alerted authorities to the conditions that the man imposed on his followers. According to the court verdict, the group was composed of the man, six women, and 17 children. The convicted man convinced women to join with him in what initially appeared to be a pleasant life. However, once under his control, the women faced continued physical and sexual abuse, as did their children....
The women and children were subject to daily “confessions” and “judgments” and were punished by means of imprisonment, starvation, physical and mental abuse, humiliation, sexual abuse, and severe violence, according to the indictment. Police found numerous torture devices when they searched the house.