A harsh indictment was filed Monday morning against Elior Chen, also known as the "abusive rabbi". Chen was charged with abusing a helpless minor and assaulting a minor.
The 20-page indictment details the severe abuse of eight children from a Jerusalem family. Despite the severity of his actions, he has not been charged with attempted murder.
The abuse left a three-year-old boy in a vegetative state. The indictment describes how Chen and his accomplices abused the child in an incident which took place during Hanukkah, 2007. Chen and his accomplices allegedly severely beat the three-year-old boy in his face. When the child fell to the floor, Chen and his accomplices picked him up, and continued to beat him harshly.
He then ordered the members of his group to force the boy to drink arrack and to jump up and down as they beat him until he vomited. Later, Chen forced the boy to sit by the table for the entire night.
Chen and his followers also shook the toddler, holding him either by the back and shoulders, or by the arms and legs, leaving his head to shake back and forth powerfully.
The indictment further accuses Chen and his accomplices of tying the boy's hands and legs using cable ties and ropes for long hours, and would sometimes tie him to a plastic chair. While the boy was tied up, Chen and his followers would beat the boy in his head and his face.
The 'abusive rabbi' and members of his group beat the child in his head and face repeatedly on a number of different occasions, to the point where his face would become swollen. In one incident, they took a photograph of the child's face and would look at it and laugh.
According to the indictment, Chen and his followers would also beat the boy with a hammer and wooden stick on his hands. They would also burn the boy's fingers and other organs with a lighter.
And they didn't stop there. Chen and his accomplices tied the boy up with a rope, stuffed a skullcap in his mouth and sealed it off with tape. They then forced him into a suitcase, closed it and kept him there for an entire day without food or water.
They would also force the child's head under flowing water until he would suffocate, and hold him under cold water in the shower.
In January, 2008, they undressed the boy and made him stand outside on the house's balcony in the cold of the night, while they sat inside. Chen also ordered his followers to spill water on the child to cause him further suffering. He did not allow the child back in the house despite his screaming and crying.
In another incident, they took the boy to a mikveh in Beitar Illit and pushed him into the water several times. They also forced him to run until he passed out.
The group's cruelty knew no boundaries. On one incident they broke the boy's arm and prevented him from receiving medical treatment. They then forced him to use his broken arm, despite the pain. They also caused a severe burn on his foot using a heater. The defendant and his followers did not allow the burn to be treated and forced to boy to wear shoes which agitated the burn.
The worst incident took place in March 2008, after Chen said, "The boy must be silenced." One of his followers went to the room where the boy was sleeping and shook him and hit his head until he lost consciousness. As a result, the boy suffered irreversible brain damage and is in a vegetative state.
The indictment also describes severe abuse of the other children in Jerusalem; for example, an incident where Chen, along with others, hit the hands of a then eight-year-old girl with a hammer. Chen and his accomplices also used to hit the girl with a stick.
The indictment also describes how Chen and his accomplices forced a 13-year-old boy to feed his four-year-old brother excrement. When the teen refused, he was beat and told that if he did not obey, he would be fed excrement as well.
Sources involved in the investigation told Ynet the night before the indictment was filed that Chen would not be charged with attempted murder, since they were unable to substantiate the allegation.
The source added that should further evidence come to light and support such a charge, the prosecution will amend the indictment. Such a move would also require Brazil's consent, since it was not included in the original extradition motion.
Chen's father: 'He's a good boy'
After hearing the shocking charges brought against his son, Chen's father, Yaakov said, "They are trying to frame Elior Chen, I can swear that he is a good boy. He is being persecuted because he is haredi. I believe in his innocence wholeheartedly. Elior Chen is a Charming, wonderful boy, I wish there was a child like this in every house in Israel."
Chen's mother, Vivian said, "Everyone has decided to dance on my son's blood. It's a done deal. God willing, my son will come out innocent."
His brother Assaf added, "I believe in the court. This was a media case that was blown way out of proportion. It will all come out in court; all the lies will come to light in court. I know my brother; he is a gentle soul, not capable of hurting a fly."