Rabbis Fail to Report Sexual Harassment

By Ronen Medzini (Ynet News)
August 12, 2010

A Jerusalem resident Gil Dvash, 45, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of sexually harassing and sodomizing 10 minors over the past few years, after offering them money at a local synagogue.

The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Thursday extended the suspect's remand, with Judge Fineberg ruling that "there is reasonable ground to believe that he committed the acts ascribed to him."

According to the suspicions, the man arrived at a synagogue in the Bait Vagan neighborhood, where the minors were praying, offered them money and carried out his scheme.

In his investigation, the suspect admitted that he had committed the acts in many incidents.

The police learned of the accusations only recently, about two years after the last harassment case, after the suspect returned to the area near the synagogue and a complaint was filed against him.

A police representative told the court that "this man is a dangerous pedophile, who admitted being attracted to children. Such a person must not be allowed to walk around as a free man."

He added that the community rabbis were aware of the acts but failed to inform the police. Instead, they decided to keep his away from the synagogue.

Attorney Leah Sluvin of the Public Defender's Office, who is representing the suspect, said at the end of the discussion that he had told her he was relieved by the arrest. "He is suffering from pangs of conscience and is considering treatment."