Abusive cult suspects indicted

Three men involved in Jerusalem-based religious cult face charges of enslavement, sexual abuse, imprisonment and aggravated assault. Court remands suspects for 15 days

Ynet, Israel News/August 3, 2011

The Jerusalem Prosecution filed charges against the three main suspects in the abusive cult case. The indictment was filed Wednesday with the Jerusalem District Court.

D., the cult's leader and two other of its male members are facing multiple counts of enslavement, abuse, sexual abuse, false imprisonment, rape, sodomy, indecent acts and aggravated assault.

The case was revealed on Tuesday after the comprehensive gag order placed on the case was modified to allow the partial release of its details.

Police official said the case is "one of the gravest abuse cases seen in the past few years."

The full indictment has been placed under a gag order as well, with only a few details released.

The prosecution alleges that D., the prime suspect, headed a "family," which included his six wives and 15 children, 11 of whom are his biological children, and has complete control over every aspect of their lives.

The women and children were "put to work" as mendicancies and ordered to spread his "religious doctrine." They were subjected to cruel punishments, or "sentences," decreed by proxy of D's "spiritual supremacy" and executed at whim.

These sentences, the prosecution said, were executed using extreme and extraordinary violence which included imprisonment, starvation, humiliation and sexual abuse.

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