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Top Rabbi Arrested on Rape Charge as He Tries To Flee

Israeli police officers arrested at Ben Gurion Airport a prominent rabbi who sought to leave the country amid accusations that he committed rape and other sex crimes.

The rabbi, whose name was not published in Israeli media but was identified as a yeshiva head from the Safed area who belongs to Modern-Orthodox Zionist circles, was arrested Thursday night based on a complaint to police by a woman who claimed he raped her several years ago, Israel’s Channel 2 reported.

The woman came forward after another woman told local rabbis the suspect committed an indecent act of a sexual nature against her person 13 years ago. The man’s layer and his wife told Walla he denies the accusations against him. According to the news site nrg.co.il, the rabbi was on his way to Brazil.

Following the surfacing of complaints over his conducts with women, the suspect was subject to an internal review of other rabbis from the Safed area, including Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu. For the duration of the internal probe, the suspect was forbidden to contact members of his congregation and agreed to leave Safed. He also closed his Facebook account.

Earlier this week, a Dutch supreme court ruled in favor of extraditing another rabbi, Eliezer Berland, who is accused of having sexual relations with minors before 2012, the year he fled Israel. He, too, has denied the allegations against him.

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