Child abuse suspect to be put under house arrest
ETGAR LEFKOVITS - Jerusalem Post
Mar 30, 2008
54-year-old woman suspected of severely abusing her 12 children will be released from police custody and placed under house arrest later this week.
The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Sunday extended her remand by two days, and then ordered her to be placed under house arrest for the next 15 days.
The woman was arrested last week in her Ramat Beit Shemesh home.
On Sunday, a police representative said the woman would routinely tie her children to a pole and then give them electric shocks and beat them with belts and sticks when they failed to learn their Talmud lessons.
The woman, who has said she was "educating" her children, told police she was simply re-enacting the biblical flogging story of Batsheva and Solomon, the police representative told the court.
According to haredi media and a well-informed source in Beit Shemesh, the woman leads a sect of women who adhere to a dress code more stringent than that of the most extreme Muslim sects and a rigorous health food diet.
The suspect again appeared in court Sunday covered from head to toe in black, and refused to speak in the presence of men.
In a separate case, the court allowed the father of an abused child to visit his critically injured infant in a Jerusalem hospital in the presence of social workers.
The child's mother, whose remand was extended by six days, remains in custody. More arrests are expected in that case.
Jerusalem Post earlier reported that:
The Beit Shemesh resident is also suspected of failing to report multiple cases of incest among her children ...The mother is also suspected of breaking one daughter's nose with a rolling pin, leaving her children to sleep outside in a locked shed when they came home late, and preventing them from receiving medical treatment for their injuries. The mother said it was all part of their "education," according to court documents.
The father of the family was abroad at the time of the arrest, seeking charity donations, and had not returned for the court hearing on Tuesday.
When the abuse was discovered last month, only two of the couple's 12 children, who range in age from eight to 33, lived at home.
The two clearly abused children, including a disabled teenager, have since been removed from the home by social workers, the police investigator told the court.
When the children of the family were treated by social workers, it emerged that the teenagers had committed incest with each other, over a long period of time, the police officer said.
The teenage boy who was removed from the house told social workers that he had had sexual relations with his 18-year-old sister, and that he had told his parents and his rabbis, and that the latter told him not to tell anybody else ... ("Mother of 12 suspected of abusing kids," Jerusalem Post, Mar 25, 2008)