Sunday, April 06, 2008

We Are No Better Than The Gentiles! Maybe Worse -

YORK, Pa. (AP) — A 2-year-old girl died after being beaten with a video game controller by her mother's boyfriend and new charges are expected, police said Tuesday. Darisabel Baez was pronounced dead late Monday at Hershey Medical Center, police Lt. Ron Camacho said.

The girl's mother, Neida E. Baez, 19, called for an ambulance Sunday saying her boyfriend, Harve L. Johnson, had brought the unconscious child to her, limp and wet from an attempt to revive her in a bathtub, a police affidavit said.

Johnson acknowledged beating the girl with a video game controller but did not say why, police said. Baez said Johnson had abused the girl in the past and said she heard the girl scream after Johnson beat her Sunday, according to the affidavit. Johnson, 26, was charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and other counts. Baez was charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Detective Dana Ward said Baez was charged because she did not intervene or try to get help for Darisabel.

Camacho said that because of the girl's death new charges would be filed. Johnson and Baez remained in custody Tuesday. His bail was set at $200,000; hers was $25,000. Through police, family members declined requests for interviews Tuesday. Court officials said they did not know whether Johnson and Baez had lawyers to speak for them.


naomi regan said...

On the cover of yesterday's newspaper, Yediot Acharonot, is a photo of hammers, knives, guns, turpentine, and heaters all of which - according to the newspaper -were used to torture small children allegedly at the behest of a so-called haredi Rabbi, Elior Chen.

According to the article, a four year old is in the hospital with irreversible brain damage from one of Chen's "hassidim", David Kugman. Chen and Kugman have fled the country and are now
in Canada, along with at least one family of Chen's "hassidim," the family of Joseph Fisher. Chen is suspected of leading a cult that believed that torturing children would remove the "devil" from them. The removal of the devil, according to notebooks found in Chen's apartment filled with his instructions, included force-feeding toddlers drinks of alcohol and turpentine.

Making them eat feces. Forcing them against electric heaters until their skin turned black then pouring alcohol on the wounds. Stuffing their mouths with skullcaps and taping them closed, and then zipping them into suitcases for days. Leaving stones on the Shabbat "blech"all day and then placing the stones on the tender skin of these babies.

The following is excerpted from an article in Haaretz on April 8 by Uri Blau, Yair Ettinger, Jonathan Lis and Ofra Edelman:

"Chen may be meeting other members of the sect in Canada, where the family of one of the members lives, according to a friend of Chen's who is familiar with the group but doesn't belong to it. The friend said Chen fled with Joseph Fisher, whose name was not mentioned in an indictment filed yesterday against the mother of the children suspected of being abused by Chen's followers. The remand of the mother was extended Sunday until April 14.

Two of the family's eight children, aged 4 and 5, were hospitalized in serious condition two weeks ago, after Chen allegedly ordered two of his followers to discipline the children by beating, burning, pushing and shaking them, and tying them up as a way of "correcting" their behavior.

The 4-year-old remains in a coma. Police suspect that Chen's supporters also doused the children in hot and cold water and broke their bones with hammers and blows. The mother was charged with forcing the children to eat feces, beating them unconscious and locking them up in a suitcase for three days.

Jerusalem police also arrested an additional suspect in the case, and have issued a gag order regarding his identity. The Magistrate's Court extended his remand by five days.

Chen and three of his supporters allegedly began providing the family with "educational lessons" several months ago. They allegedly kicked the father out of his home and began abusing several of the family's eight children, especially the two youngest.

Chen and Fisher left the country legally, and their exit was registered at border control. Afterward, their wives and children went into hiding. The Fisher apartment has been cleared out and its contents have been placed in storage.

Police said they do not know the location of Chen's and Fisher's families, but Chen's friend said they were hoping to go to Canada as well and may have already left the country.

Chen and his supporters chose Canada in part, the source said, because "the extradition law is tough" there. "Only in very exceptional cases does Canada extradite," he said. "

All families with children involved in this cult are IN IMMINENT DANGER if even a fraction of these allegations turn out to be true. The people involved all dress as haredi Jews and are most likely to live in a haredi neighborhood. Other members of the cult are still in Israel. Please keep your eyes and ears open and report anything that might be helpful to the authorities. The heart weeps and the heart cannot fathom such cruelty. As former Chief Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau said: "Judaism cannot justify the tears of helpless child...I call on every mother in Israel to recognize that not every person who wraps himself in the title of Rabbi is deserving of thier title... Is the terror of a mother towards her children any different from a terrorist who spills innocent blood?"

This is the worst case of child abuse in Israeli history. Even the police are in shock.

-- Naomi Ragen

Haaretz said...

Court extends remand of sixth suspect in case of abused Jerusalem toddlers

By Jonathan Lis and Roni Singer-Heruti

Tags: child abuse

The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court extended the remand of Avraham Masklatchi by four days on Monday. Masklatchi is the sixth suspect to be named in a child-abuse case revolving around a Jerusalem family.

The case surfaced when two brothers, aged 3 and 4, were hospitalized with severe injuries. One remains in a coma. Their family, which has eight children, had been hosting several men named as abuse suspects. The men's spiritual leader allegedly told them to discipline the children with methods that included beating and burning them.

Masklatchi had tried to flee twice from police investigators seeking to arrest him. The court remanded him so that he could not flee again.

Shimon Sharvit, Masklatchi's defense attorney, said his client is not connected to the children's abuse.

Sharvit said his client is a neighbor of David Kugman, who was charged with abuse last week.

Sharvit said his client also studies at the Nahar Hashalom Yeshiva with Shimon Gabai, another suspect in the case and currently a fugitive, but that he had not seen Gabai in several weeks. The defense denied that Masklatchi knows where Gabai is hiding.

The police presented evidence to the court showing that the victims had said Masklatchi was party to the abuse.

In another case, a mother from Or Yehuda suspected of beating and shaking her 2-month-old infant son was released to house arrest on Monday after the prosecution concluded that it had insufficient evidence to charge her. The child's father was released a few days earlier.

"I did not hit my children; it is a lie," she said. "I love them and I only want to hug them."

The police investigators and the prosecution had disagreed on how to proceed with the investigation in this case.

The prosecution and the judge conducting the remand hearing believe the police failed to investigate the matter well enough to find conclusive evidence of abuse.

The parents had been held for the past three weeks, while the police built up a case based on a medical pathology report that concluded the infant had been abused.

The mother had brought the child to Tel Hashomer hospital in serious condition two weeks ago.

His skull had been fractured, and he was bleeding inside his cranium. His condition has improved since then, and he is expected to be released from hospital.

The child had been in the care of his parents, but the police could not confirm they were responsible for the abuse.

Globe And Mail said...

Rabbi, wanted in child abuses, hiding in Canada
Israel to seek extradition for radical, so-called spiritual mentor of a group involved in systematic torture of children

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

April 8, 2008 at 2:26 AM EDT

JERUSALEM — A radical rabbi once linked to a plot to fire a missile at Jerusalem's Temple Mount, is hiding in Canada, Israeli police said Monday, announcing that he is wanted for his alleged role in a series of ghastly abuses of his followers' children.

Israeli officials have issued an international warrant for the arrest of Rabbi Elior Chen, and were planning to ask Canada to extradite him.

“He left [Tel Aviv's] Ben Gurion Airport. He flew to Canada. We know that he's in Canada at the moment,” said police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld.

Mr. Chen, who is in his late 20s, hasn't yet been charged but he has been described as the “spiritual mentor” of a group involved in the systematic abuse of children, allegedly using his status as a rabbi to convince a mother of eight that her children's shortcomings could be beaten and burned out of them.

Israel will ask Canada to extradite Elior Chen. (Jinipix photo)

“He visited the families themselves, and the children visited him. He was actively involved in causing mental and bodily harm to the children,” Mr. Rosenfeld said. “It's very disturbing in terms of what happened to the children and the fact that these people, who consider themselves respectable, were involved in it.”

For days, Israel's media have been filled with the gruesome details of the case. Two of the eight children, aged 4 and 5, were hospitalized in serious condition two weeks ago after Mr. Chen allegedly ordered two of his followers to, among other acts, hit the children with hammers and light their fingers on fire, as a way of “correcting” their behaviour.

The four-year-old is still in a coma. Despite multiple operations, he has not regained consciousness, and doctors believe he may remain indefinitely in a vegetative state.

Police photographs of some of the instruments used – including hammers, spikes, knives, wrenches and alcohol – were on the front page of nearly every Israeli newspaper Monday.

The 38-year-old mother, whose name has been withheld by police, was indicted on child abuse charges on Sunday. The mother is alleged to have locked her two youngest children in a suitcase for three days, letting them out for only brief periods during that time. She also allegedly shook and beat them, burned their hands with a lighter and a heater, made them take freezing showers and forced them to eat their own feces. The goal, according to police, was to beat “devils” out of the children.

According to the indictment filed in Israeli court, the woman's marriage broke down last year and her husband left her. At that point, Mr. Chen, who was close to the couple, and two other men are reported to have taken over the education of the children.

The mother and the other two “educators” are also suspected of pouring salt on the burn wounds, gagging the children with a skullcap, and forcing them to drink alcohol until they vomited.

Police have arrested one of the other men, 22-year-old David Kugman of Jerusalem, while the other man, identified by police as Shimon Gabai, is still at large.

It's believed that Mr. Chen, 29, fled to Canada with at least one of his followers, identified by Israel's Haaretz newspaper as Joseph Fisher. Mr. Fisher is not considered a suspect by Israeli police.

Mr. Rosenfeld said Mr. Chen flew to Canada on a flight from Ben Gurion Airport shortly after the mother's arrest.

A friend quoted in Haaretz Monday said Mr. Chen and Mr. Fisher believed that “only in very exceptional cases does Canada extradite.”

Chris Girouard, a spokesman for the Canadian Justice Department, confirmed Monday that Canada has a bilateral extradition treaty with Israel.

According to Israeli media reports citing friends of Mr. Chen, he began studying Kabbalah Judaism at the age of 11. He left his yeshiva in Jerusalem because he considered it too “open” and began studying the writings of extremely conservative rabbis. Eventually, he became the spiritual leader of a group of ultraconservative students, who called themselves “Pitzuei HaNachal,” or “the wounded of the river.”

In 2005, members of Pitzuei HaNachal were arrested in relation to a plot by Jewish extremists to attack Jerusalem's Temple Mount, site of Islam's holy Dome of the Rock, to protest against Israel's decision to withdraw its soldiers and settlers from the Gaza Strip. Police alleged that Mr. Chen urged the plotters to take a loan from the bank to buy explosives, and promised to introduce them to army veterans who would train them to use the devices.

Police searched Mr. Chen's apartment on Thursday, and discovered journals documenting the violence.

Israel's Yediot Aharonot newspaper said the raid uncovered 30 notebooks of correspondence between Mr. Chen and his followers, in which he explicitly spelled out how the children should be tortured.

The notebooks explain how to bind the children in either “six ties” or “eight ties.” The notebooks describe how to prepare special drinks for the children, made of alcohol, salt, pepper and turpentine. The children were forced to drink the liquids until they vomited. “You see, they vomit the Satan inside them,” a letter tells the mother.

The notebooks also detail how to beat the children with batons and then pour alcohol on their wounds, describing in exact detail how much time to leave the burning liquid on the body of the sufferer. All these acts, the notebooks say, were necessary “in order to remove the ghosts from the children.” The notebooks also direct followers to put hot stones on the children.

In the correspondence Mr. Chen's followers never refer to him by name, calling him instead “His Honor the King of the Messiah.” The writings are conversational, as if Mr. Chen's followers did not speak to him and were only allowed to communicate in writing.

It's unclear whether there are other cases of child abuse linked to Mr. Chen's teachings. Mr. Rosenfeld said it was difficult to classify Mr. Chen and his followers.

“It wasn't a widespread or vast [network], but we know there were a number of individuals that were connected to him,” Mr. Rosenfeld said. “It's difficult to put this into context, whether it's a cult, whether he's an extremist or some kind of psycho.”

Anonymous said...

Welfare Min. data shows 10,000 children at risk of parental abuse

By Ruth Sinai, Haaretz Correspondent

Tags: child abuse, welfare, israel

The Welfare Ministry on Monday reported that divorce disputes in which social workers had to protect children from parental abuse increased 18 percent in 2007, reaching 3,758.

Around 10,000 children were thought to be at high risk of suffering abuse at the hands of hostile parents.

Of those considered at risk, a minority had been hospitalized after suicide attempts, or suffering from anorexia and other psychological disorders. One in three matrimonies going through the process of divorce were found to be at a particularly high level of conflict.

According to Central Bureau of Statistics figures, some 11,000 couples divorced in 2007, and welfare services' legal advisers wrote some 10,000 reports to aid judges decide on custody and other matters relating to child abuse.

The Welfare Ministry report also showed that in 2007, 1,500 men petitioned for sole custody of their children, comprising 15 percent of all men who were divorced that year. In around 850 cases women also requested custody, while in 700 cases only the husband requested it.

In almost 2,900 cases, welfare legal advisers recommended granting maternal custody - a slight increase from the preceding year, while in 534 cases paternal custody was recommended - a 20 percent drop from 2006. in 167 cases, advisers recommended joint custody.

Chief welfare legal adviser Ronit Tzur said joint custody is recommended wherever possible, but that this requires good communication between parents. Tzur added that social workers had succeeded in reuniting 3,500 children with their parents, mostly with their fathers, in 2007.