10 Mar 2011

Israeli cult leader who systematically tortured children with horrific punishments to purify them jailed for 24 years

Warning: This story contains graphic details

Haaretz - Israel February 28, 2011

Haredi 'Rabbi' Elior Chen sentenced to 24 years in prison for child abuse

Chen was convicted of abusing and ordering the abuse of eight children, which included beatings with clubs and hammers, kicks to the head, severe shaking, burning, being handcuffed and stuffed in a suitcase, food and sleep deprivation.

By Nir Hasson

The Jerusalem District Court Monday sentenced self-proclaimed Rabbi Elior Chen to 24 years in prison, one and a half years suspended sentence for multiple counts of severe abuse against eight minors.

Chen was also ordered to pay a compensation fine of NIS 400,000 to the children who suffered from the abuse.

Alleged cult leader Elior Chen in court.
Photo by: Daniel Bar-On

Judge Noam Yaron called Chen's action "unprecedented, difficult and outrageous. The children remain wounded both physically and emotionally with critical brain damage."

Chen was convicted in December for abusing the children of one of his disciples, which included beatings with clubs and hammers, kicks to the head, severe shaking, burning, being handcuffed and stuffed in a suitcase, food and sleep deprivation, being forced to eat feces, and being forced to stand outside in the cold naked.

One of the children remains in a vegetative state to this day due to the abuse.

According to the verdict, Chen's followers possessed "blind admiration" for him, obeyed him unquestioningly and all their abuse of the children was at his express command.

Chen not only witnessed most of this abuse and handed out orders, the document continued, he also actively participated in the abuse.

The judge wrote in the sentencing that the defendant "contrived and initiated the violent acts against the children."

"These were violent, cruel and horrifying acts of abuse that were executed systematically and continuously, while raining terror over the children and dictating fear and terrorism; while oppressing, humiliating and debasing the minors," the judge wrote.

The child abuse affair was uncovered two years ago, when a child Chen had been treating was taken to the hospital unconscious. Once the story became public, Chen fled to Brazil, which extradited him back to Israel.

Chen, who called himself a rabbi, told his disciples the abuse was necessary to "purify" the children, all members of one family.

Four of Chen's disciples were convicted earlier and sentenced to jail terms of up to 20 years each. Prosecutors plan to seek a longer sentence for Chen, who was the ringleader.

In her conviction of the four disciples, Judge Nava Ben-Or called the case "incomprehensible," adding that Israel has never before known anything like it.

Chen's attorney, Ariel Atari, said he plans to appeal the conviction to the Supreme Court, arguing that his client did not receive a fair trial.

The mother of the eight children, who remains unnamed, was sentenced in May 2010 to five years in prison after pleading guilty to shaking, burning and tying up her children.

This article was found at:


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1 comment:

  1. Convicted killer Ami Popper weds recently released child abuser

    Popper, initially sentenced to seven life terms for killing seven Palestinians during the First Intifada, marries woman convicted of allowing cult leader Elior Chen to brutally abuse her eight children • Popper is expected to be released in 2030.

    by Itsik Saban and Israel Hayom Staff

    Israel Hayom May 20, 2013

    Convicted murderer Ami Popper, who is currently serving time for killing seven Palestinian civilians during the First Intifada, on Sunday married a convicted child abuser he met in prison.

    The bride, labeled "The Abusive Mother" during a highly publicized 2009 trial, was a member of a cult led by Elior Chen, which was notorious for its abusive practices toward children. The mother was convicted of allowing her eight children to be horrifically abused by Chen and his disciples. Her sentence was reduced after she cooperated with the prosecution and she was released from Neve Tirza women's prison last year.

    Exactly 23 years ago today, Popper used a stolen army rifle to line up and gun down seven Palestinians waiting at a bus stop in Rishon Letzion. Popper was sentenced to seven life sentences, but former President Chaim Weizmann commuted his sentence to 40 years. He is expected to be released in 2030.

    In 2007, while on a 48-hour furlough from prison, Popper, driving with an expired license, got into an accident that killed his former wife and one of his sons.