Media outlets have identified Chaim Halpern as the man believed to be arrested in London on charges of sexual misconduct.
The London Metropolitan police arrested four men they would not name on Wednesday morning in connection with an investigation into sexual misconduct. Two media outlets reported that one of those arrested is believed to be Halpern, 54, of the Beis Hamedrash Divrei Chaim synagogue.
A Beis Hamedrash Divrei Chaim spokesman would not comment when asked by JTA about reports in The Times of Israel and Behadrei Haredim, an Israel-based haredi Orthodox news site, of the rabbi’s alleged arrest. The spokesman would not give his name.
According to The Jewish Chronicle, police arrested four men on Wednesday in the area in connection with investigations into sexual assault and perverting the course of justice, including one unnamed 54-year-old man. Police said they could not provide further details.
The Jewish Chronicle report said the three other men – aged 62, 64 and 25 – were arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice over the arrest of the first man, adding that “Jewish community sources said that one of the addresses visited by police was in Bridge Lane,” the address of the synagogue headed by Halpern.
Earlier this month, Halpern won a court verdict ordering Google to name people he said had defamed him on a blog. The rabbi has denied the claims of inappropriate conduct with women that are being investigated by a special rabbinical court set up at the behest of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations.
Behadrei Haredim quoted an unnamed source who said that Halpern’s accusers had intended to resolve the matter within the community’s institutions, but complained to authorities after Halpern filed the lawsuit.