Fugitive Hasidic Rabbi Denied Bail in Rape Case by the Forward

Fugitive Hasidic Rabbi Denied Bail in Rape Case

Image by Getty

— An elderly Hasidic rabbi caught on video apparently admitting to raping a woman and plotting the murder of an unnamed person will remain in police custody until legal proceedings against him are over.

The Jerusalem Magistrate Court denied bail Thursday to Rabbi Eliezer Berland, 79, who was extradited from South Africa to Israel last month and charged with several counts of sexual assault after three years as a fugitive, The Times of Israel reported. The court considers him a flight risk, according to the newspaper.

Berland, who was arrested in April in Johannesburg, is accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl and trying to engage in sexual acts with four women who came to him seeking his advice and help. Last month, the media in Israeli reported about a recording allegedly of Berland admitting to rape.

An attorney for Berland attorney has denied that the voice on the recording is his client’s, saying the rabbi’s enemies are trying to hurt him. Berland, a member of the Breslov Hasidic movement and founder of the Shuvu Bonim religious seminary in Israel, has denied the allegations against him.

According to the 2012 recordings, made by two of his followers, Berland is heard instructing followers to place a bomb under the bed of an unnamed person and admitting to ordering a string of arson attacks nearly two decades ago.

Fugitive Hasidic Rabbi Denied Bail in Rape Case

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Fugitive Hasidic Rabbi Denied Bail in Rape Case

Thank you!

This article has been sent!