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Israeli cult leader convicted of sexual crimes
JERUSALEM, Sept 8 (Reuters) – An Israeli cult leader alleged by prosecutors to have kept 21 wives under his spell for years was convicted on Monday of sexual crimes but acquitted of charges of enslavement.
The suspect, Goel Ratzon, 64, had denied the allegations, which prosecutors described as a “mind-boggling” saga of dominance and delusions of deity.
Ratzon, whose first name means “redeemer”, kept 21 wives and 38 children in various homes around Tel Aviv, according to the indictment.
A Tel Aviv court convicted him of sex offences that included rape and indecent assault over the indictment said was “many years”. Some of his daughters were among the victims, according to the verdict, distributed by the Justice Ministry.
Ratzon’s sentence will be handed down later.
Sporting shoulder-length grey hair and a white beard, Ratzon was seen by his wives as “omnipotent and possessing the powers of healing and destruction”, according to the charges.
But the court found him not guilty of holding people in conditions of slavery. Ratzon had argued that the women, many of whom had his name and portrait tatooed on their bodies, lived with him on their own accord.
(Reporting by Jeffrey Heller; editing by Luke Baker)
Fonte: Daily Mail
NOTA: Leggi anche articolo “Cult leader Ratzon convicted of sex crimes, acquitted of enslavement” qui:
Goel Ratzon convicted in a row of severe sex crimes
The leader of the cult which consisted of dozens of women and children was convicted in court for a slew of severe sex crimes
The leader of the cult which consisted of dozens of women and children was convicted in court for a slew of severe sex crimes, including rape of minors and sexual assaults on his family members. Nonetheless, he was acquitted of the enslavement charge, what led to criticism by one of his former wives. “I was under complete slavery”, she said in tears.
Tel Aviv District Court convicted Goel Ratzon this morning, for a row of sex crimes committed on his women and their children. Nonetheless the court acquitted the leader of the cult, which included 32 children and over 60 children, from the charge of enslavement. Ratzon’s verdict is due to be announced at a later stage, and estimations suggest he could be sentenced for many years.
Outside the courtroom Ma’ayan was waiting, one of Ratzon’s former wives, who criticized the decision to acquit him from enslavement. “I was under complete enslavement”, she said crying. “The court ruled that men in the State of Israel have the right and approval to take women and torture them, they would only be acquitted because they didn’t cross the physical abuse border“.
Ratzon’s son, who defended him throughout every stage of the trial since he was arrested in 2010, said this morning that “I am relieved in a way because now I know that he was acquitted of the enslavement charge. I hope that the court is satisfied with his arrest days and will not sentence him to additional time in prison”, the son, Yigal, said. “We will always have another opportunity to appeal”.
The indictment filed against Ratzon in 2010 includes a row of grave sex crimes, including raping minors, sexual assaults, incest and illegal consented sexual intercourse. The indictment exposed how the cult leader demanded of his wives to tattoo his name of figure on their bodies, and decided on their joint children’s names in a manner that would glorify his own name.
The indictment further read that Ratzon’s control over his women was long-termed and absolute. “The defendant imposed his worldview on the women to serve his goals. He formed their way of thought, and even changed their everyday lives so that they were under his control”. “Ratzon’s behavior resembles dark times in human history”.
Ratzon was arrested in January 2010 following an undercover investigation, and two of his women were also investigated. The cult leader claimed in his defense at the time that “stroking minors is not rape” and he even blamed the police for threatening him – however the court decided to extent his arrest until end of procedures. The judge ruled that “Ratzon’s dangerousness expresses itself in the many victims and felonies with which he is charged, and his perverted personality and manipulative conduct stem from his wives’ and children’s testimonies”.
Fonte: Jerusalem oline