Prominent Religious Zionism figure Rabbi Mordechai Elon, who was charged last November with committing indecent acts against two minors, filed his response to the indictment with the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Sunday.
In his response, Elon denied the charges and claimed that if he indeed met the complainants, it was not with the purpose of deriving sexual gratification.
The indictment claimed Elon exploited his position as an educator and molested two male teenagers on various occasions in 2003 and 2005.
Overall, the indictment covers five counts of forceful indecent acts and abuse of authority.
The indictment alleges that Elon made unwelcome advances at the teenagers, touched them inappropriately and fondled them - all the while claiming it would help their emotional problems.
In his response, which was filed by his attorneys, Elon said he did not remember meeting the first complainant - now 23 years old – who claimed the rabbi caressed his face and body and kissed his face.
Elon said he may have put his arm around the complainant's neck, caressed his face and hugged him, but claimed this was how he had behaved over the years with many people who sought his "advice and encouragement." The rabbi said that if he in fact touched the complainant, it was not to derive any sexual satisfaction.
According to the indictment, two months after the first incident Elon led the complainant to a room and sat him down on his knees while touching his body and forcefully holding him down. The rabbi continued to rub against the complainant despite the complainant's efforts to resist him, said the indictment.
Elon said he did not remember the incident either but that he may have hugged the complainant, adding that the physical contact was not sexual in nature.
The Jerusalem District Prosecution charged that when rabbi came to console the second complainant after one of his relatives died in an accident, he sat him down on a couch and forcefully hugged him and kissed his face.
Elon admitted that he had met the second complainant, who is now 27 years old, but claimed he hugged and caressed him only to console him. The rabbi said he may have also kissed the complainant in the neck area, but stressed that the kisses were not sexual in nature.
The prosecution offered Rabbi Elon a plea bargain, under which he would have had to enter a guilty plea but would have been spared jail time, but he reportedly refused it. The defense claimed that under no circumstance would the rabbi admit to a crime he did not commit.
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