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Powerless? The mother
Photo: Alex Kolomoysky
Parents ignore child abuse at rabbi's advice
Police investigators stunned to find ultra-Orthodox parents ignored sexual abuse of their two children after their rabbi warned filing charges may invoke halachic rule equal to 'din moser'

The Jerusalem Police recently revealed a stunning conspiracy of silence involving the sexual abuse of two children, ages four and nine, by a male relative. The investigation also revealed that the children's parents, their rabbi and their neighbors were all aware of the abuse, but chose to keep quiet.

 

Senior police NCO Aliza Aroch, who is the lead investigator in the case, told Ynet that police were contacted by a social worker, who reported getting a call from a woman who claimed to have witnessed the man molest the nine-year-old while they were at a doctor's waiting room.

 

The woman informed the doctor of what she saw and the two immediately contacted the social worker and the police. Both were deposed and the police promptly arrested the suspect.

 

The man, said Aroch, admitted the incident and assured the court it was a one-time digression. The Jerusalem District Court, however, ordered his arrest remanded for three days.

 

With the suspect in custody, the police began questioning the boy's parents and discovered that their nine-year-old son was suffering from autism and that they had two other children – a four-year-old boy and a two-year-old toddler.

 

After ascertaining that the suspect was a relative, investigators were amazed to learn that not only did the mother know the man was abusing both her sons, she had witnessed the acts on several occasions and did nothing.

 

She also told the police that her nine-year-old son had been subjected to the suspect's abuse since the age of two. The police suspect all three children also suffered physical abuse.

 

When asked why she did nothing, the mother reportedly told the investigators that she was "powerless."

 

During the course of the investigation, the police also found that several neighbors witnessed the suspect molesting the children in public, but failed to report him.

 

The children's father claimed that he consulted his rabbi, who told him that unless he witnesses the acts himself, reporting it would be like rendering a "Din Moser."

 

"Din Moser" is an ancient halachic law pertaining to informants, which according to the austere interpretation of Jewish tradition, equals a death sentence.

 

Once the gravity of the situation became apparent, the court ordered all three children be removed from home. The Jerusalem District Court also remanded both parents for five days.

 

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