Two Lev Tahor leaders who were arrested last year in Guatemala have been extradited to the United States to face trial.
Yaakov and Shmuel Weingarten are facing charges of suspected kidnapping and abuse of children. The kidnapping attempt was purposely carried out on Shabbos to make it more difficult for the parents to pursue them.
Yaakov Weingarten was arrested on the first day of Pesach last year.
The brothers’ father, Yisrael Weingarten, is serving a 30-year prison sentence in the United State for serious criminal offenses. Another brother, Yoel Weingarten, was also arrested in Guatemala for kidnapping and child abuse and is facing extradition to the US.
The measure follows last month’s sentencing of Lev Tahor cult leaders Nachman Helbrans and Mayer Rosner to a 12-year prison sentence for the same kidnapping and other serious offenses.
According to the US Department of Justice, Lev Tahor leaders not only engaged in kidnapping but “embraced several extreme practices, including invasive monitoring of members, frequent beatings, and forced marriages of minors to adult members. Children in Lev Tahor are often subject to physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)