The Nazareth District Court rejected Tuesday an appeal by a well-known rabbi from northern Israel facing sexual abuse allegations, after the Magistrates’ Court decided to allow his name to be published.
Following the appeal, however, the rabbi’s identity will not be revealed until Wednesday at 4:00 pm, in order to allow the rabbi’s defense attorney to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.
The defense argued that the rabbi has no criminal record, and that publication of his name may cause irreversible damage.
On the other hand, the prosecution argued that the law states that a suspect’s name is to be published within 48 hours of an investigation opening, and that revealing of the name is necessary to collect witnesses and further the investigation.
The judge noted in the decision that the evidence against the rabbi is heavy.
“In the present case, the evidence gathered so far is significant, and powerful,” the judge stated. “We are also talking about more than one complainant. Moreover, there is an indication of broader and systemic abuse to multiple complainants.”
“I am not convinced that it is preferable in this case to allow for the prevention of damage caused to the appellant, by not choosing the public interest in publishing the name, which is part of the principle of public debate and for ensuring the promotion of the investigation.”
The rabbi, who was the dean of a yeshiva, was arrested while trying to flee Israel at Ben-Gurion airport last week. On Friday, soon after his arrest, he was admitted to Ziv Hospital in Tzfat after feeling unwell; he is due to be released Tuesday afternoon in apparent good health.