Five of the melamdim who were charged with striking talmidim in an indictment filed about a year ago have signed a plea-bargain agreement. The five melamdim were employed by a Tel Aviv talmid torah. In line with the agreement, they will be fined and perform community service but will not be sent to prison.
YCS will serve four months of community service in the ‘Bayit L’Sova’ NGO and pay NIS 10,000 shekels to each of his ten victims.
CF will perform 250 hours of community service with Ezer Mizion.
MH will perform four months of community service in the Ashdod Religious Council and pay 3,000 shekels to each of his victims.
MA was ordered to perform 400 hours of community service in Ezer Mizion and pay 11,000 shekels to each of his eleven victims.
APD was sentenced to five months community service in the Ashdod Religious Council and ordered to pay 6,000 shekels to each of his six victims.
The main suspect in the case was charged with physical and mental abuse of the children, cruel punishments including instilling fear in the little ones and acting in a sadistic faction; clearly abusing the authority of his position as well as betraying the trust of the children and parents alike. The legal process against the main suspect, AMR, appears to be ongoing and his fate is not included in the plea bargain agreement. He may be sentenced to prison, as much as 16 years, but he continues to deny his guilt.
“We do not have a plea bargain as my client claims an unconditional innocence, and we will fight for his innocence as is our way in kodesh,” said attorney Tali Gottlieb. “We wonder how the State Prosecutor’s Office makes a very lenient plea bargain with other defendants who admitted violent and sadistic behavior, and permits them to perform community service only” she added.
The victims in the case were 3 and 4-year-olds in cheider, 5 and 6-year-olds in second grade and 8,9, and 10-year-olds. The children were slapped, beaten and soap placed in their mouths.
The violence in addition to this involves the use of knives, wooden planks and iron bars; and in some cases, the children were thrown to the ground or their jaws held tightly closed.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)