Rabbi Motti Elon, son of late Chief Justice Menachem Elon and until a few years ago a prominent leader in the National Religious world in Israel, was convicted Wednesday of 2 counts of sex abuse of a minor. He was sentenced to six months community service, six months’ probation, and 10,000 shekel ($2,850) in damages to the victim.
Judge Hagit Mak Kalmanovich, vice-president of the Jerusalem District Magistrate Courts initially wanted to sentence Elon to six months in prison, but finally acquiesced to a plea from his attorney.
The judge said that Elon’s behavior on several occasions was “illegitimate” – even according to his own stated standards, and that the explanations he provided “did not hold water.”
Rabbi Elon told Israeli radio that he accepts happily his community service verdict, noting that he had been engaged in community service for the past 40 years, and hopes to continue until age 120.
He insisted that his conviction was based on lies. Asked if he was planning to appeal the decision, he said he would follow only the view of the Torah (Da’at Torah, a term that can mean his own view or his religious teacher’s view, or the Torah establishment’s view).
Elon’s attorney, Asher Ohayon, said he and senior jurists are convinced that there should be an appeal of today’s verdict, as it is full of errors, many of them may not be publicized because of a partial court gag order.
The state attorney, Saggi Offir, said the prosecution does not belittle the community service punishment. He said he was hoping it would serve as a warning to violators and a note of hope to potential victims.
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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