The Jerusalem District Prosecution announced Sunday that it had struck a plea bargain with the abusive mother implicated in the "rabbi" Elior Chen criminal case.
According to the plea, the woman – who was indicted on 20 counts of abuse of a minor, aggravated assault, obstruction of justice, child neglect, extortion and intimidation – has agreed to testify against Chen and several other individuals implicated in the case, in exchange for a reduced prison sentence of five years.
The case first came to light in late March 2008: Elior Chen, a self-professed rabbi, is suspected to have "encouraged" his followers to harshly discipline their children, using physical violence "in order to beat the demons out of them."
According to the case file, the mother and several other followers severely beat her two children, aged three and four, using hammers, knives and other instruments. The three-year-old suffered brain damage and is in a persistent vegetative state.
Chen fled Israel once a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was finally nabbed by Brazilian police in Sao Paulo, in mid June, after an extensive international manhunt. Israel immediately began extradition proceeding, which he contented. The matter is still pending in a Brazilian court.
The mother, who was arrested shortly after the police launched their investigation and has been held without bail since, contested her confinement in February. The Supreme Court denied her plea and remanded her to custody pending the completion to the legal proceedings against her.