JERUSALEM - The Jerusalem District Court sentenced a 37-year-old Talmud (Oral Law) teacher of mentally challenged students to a 12 year prison term Wednesday for acts of sodomy and sexual misconduct involving teens and children.
The teacher, who is currently divorced without children, mainly molested family members, including his nephew, who was 10-years-old at the time.
Investigators found dozens of naked photos of children on his personal computer.
The teacher, who grew up in New York, arrived in Israel to study in a Yeshiva; he later returned to the U.S. to complete his degree in Computer Science, but came back to Israel to teach children with learning disabilities and serve as a boarding school counselor.
The teacher told welfare services that a summer camp instructor had sexually assaulted him when he was 11 years-old.
The judges criticized the teacher’s relatives for not taking action even though they were aware of some of his problems after he had discussed them with his parents.
The judges also criticized the authorities.
“Today, the state is not sufficiently prepared to deal with sex offenders, and this harms both the public and the accused,” they said in the ruling.
“An extended sentence is not enough to deal with and rehabilitate sex offenders, and especially sick pedophiles, who in some cases are not even aware that what they are doing is wrong.”