Israeli cult head gets 26-year prison term
Jerusalem: An Israeli man, convicted of imprisonment, slavery and sexual abuse of women and children of his cult, was sentenced by the Jerusalem District Court Thursday to 26 years in prison, Xinhua reported citing a statement by the court authority.
The defendant, whose name is prohibited from being revealed for protection of his minor victims, perpetrated what the police called "one of the worst abuse cases of its kind", with more than 20 charges against him and his aide.
The cult, based in Jerusalem and Tiberias in northern Israel, consisted of three men, six women and dozens of children, some of whom were the offspring of the defendant.
The defendant had "complete control" over the lives of the group`s members, the indictment said, adding that he sent the women and children to work as beggars and distribute religious pamphlets.
He saw himself as a descendant of a well known Jewish religious figure, according to the indictment.
He created "laws," and those who violated them received exceptionally cruel punishment including violence, starvation, physical and mental abuse and humiliation among other things.
The case came to light in August 2011 when a woman managed to run away and complain to the authorities.
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