Mother of 'abusive rabbi' victims gets 5 years
Plea bargain authorized: Elior Chen's partner, who served as state witness, will spend five years in prison after expressing regret over her actions. Judge: Actions perpetrated on children included shaking, beating, binding, burning, and force-feeding them feces. Perpetrators 'lost their humanity'
The wife of "abusive rabbi" Elior Chen will sit behind bars for the next five years. Jerusalem District Court Judge Zvi Segal authorized Sunday the plea bargain between M., who is in the process of getting a divorce from Chen, and the State Prosecution, and sentenced her to five years in prison and two years on probation.
"The actions carried out against the children included shaking, beating, binding, burning, force-feeding them feces, and more, and reflect a loss of humanity on behalf of the perpetrators," the judge ruled.
In his sentence, Judge Segal wrote, "Reading the indictment evokes a range of varied and powerful emotions, as well as shuddering and horror that the mother of eight small children abandoned them entirely to the care of (Elior) Chen, and carried out his will as if under a spell, absent of any capacity for judgment or distinguishing between permissible and forbidden."
M. in court. Read Psalms during sentencing (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
"Chen and his associates displayed monstrous 'creativity' in their 'correctional work' with the defendant's children. These actions bring up difficult memories from with the darkest history of the human race in general and the Jewish People in particular," Segal added.
The judge also referred to the children's mother, who served as a state witness, and wrote, "The warning bells and emergency of the childrens' screams and cries, which would have penetrated the most hardened heart, were not heard by the victims' mother, of all people."
The mother of the children whom Elior Chen abused served as a state witness. In this framework, she tearily described two weeks ago what her children had endured. "There are not enough words in the world to describe and express the enormity of the pain, sorrow, and anxiety in my heart for what I went through and what I put my children through," she said.
'Extraordinary rehabilitation'In his reasoning for accepting the plea bargain, Judge Segal noted that the mother's statements were sincere, that she admitted to the charges against her and took responsibility for her actions, while expressing deep sorrow for her actions. Most importantly, Segal asserted, she saved the children from painful, heart-wrenching testimonies before court. Segal also ruled that her children expressed their desire that she return to serve as a mother to them.
According to the plea bargain between the State Prosecution and M.'s legal council, she will serve five years in prison on condition that she testify against Chen and others involved in the case. M. agreed to the deal. Judge Segal decided not to stiffen her sentence.
"I received the impression that her statements at the end of the trial were deep and sincere, and that she intends to reclaim the title of mother through hard work," wrote Segal.
The mother cried and read Psalms during the reading of the sentence. Her father and two other relatives arrived in the courthouse to encourage and support her.
After the sentence was read, prosecuting attorney Nurit Blubstein said that the plea bargain reflected the fact that the mother confessed and shortened legal processes. She noted that her testimonies are of great importance in the evidence against the other suspects in the case.
Attorney Deborah Atia, who represented the mother together with Attorney Reuven Bar-Haim, responded, "M. went through an extraordinary rehabilitation process. The unusually intensive relationship she has with her children gave weight to the court's authorization of the plea bargain. The past is now behind her."