A rabbi who was suspected of holding around 50 women and children in conditions of slavery was arrested by Israeli police on Monday and was named on Tuesday as ‘Aharon Ramati’.
The suspect was arrested following a police raid on a residential complex in central Jerusalem, where women and children between the ages of 1-5 are reported to have been isolated from their families and abused in a cult-like group.
Eight other women are suspected of cooperating with the rabbi and were also arrested at the location.
The 60-year-old, Ramawati was detained on suspicion of running a “closed community” where women and children worked under conditions of slavery, police said in a statement.
The women had been punished in various ways and had money stolen from them, police said.
A police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told told the Associated Press they knew that the women and children were there for several months inside the home. He also told that they were aware that the money was taken away from them and they were made to stay there without their will.
A two-month investigation was launched after police received reports the religious leader had for years committed “severe offences” against those living at the residence, police said.
The women told how their hands were burnt in fire, just to make them feel what the hell it is.
The women were sexually exploited and kids were also physically abused.
Ramati was arrested in 2015 over similar suspicions but was subsequently released after members of the alleged cult testified in his favor.
He rejected the accusations against him saying that the kids found in the house may be his grandchildren who came for a visit.
He also said that previously too he was held in accusation of running a cult, it was nothing but just an opportunity for journalists to make a headline.