Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism) arrived in court earlier this week to request that an ultra-Orthodox teacher accused of physically abusing and sexually assaulting his students be allowed to attend a wedding.
Porush asked that the defendant, Avraham Mordechai Rosenfeld, 49, be allowed to go out to his daughter’s wedding, and even promised to keep watch on him to prevent him from doing anything that would constitute an obstruction of justice. The State Attorney’s Office objects to the request.
In August 2016, an indictment was filed against six teachers at the Talmud Torah Machzikei Hadass School in Tel Aviv for years of assault on students aged 3-10.
The other five were all convicted in July, sentenced to community service and ordered to pay NIS 10,000 in damages to the victims.
Rosenfeld remains the main defendant as the allegations against him are much more severe than against the rest—with 19 abuse charges he committed against minors and an additional charge of abuse against his son.
He is also accused of extorting and threatening his wife.
The court decided he would remain in custody until the end of his trial. Recently, he submitted a request to the court to allow him to attend his daughter’s wedding, which will take place a few days before his wife is due to testify.
“We heard a lot about the defendant,” Porush said in his request.
“We are actually talking about a bride here. This is the most important day in her life, and when the father is not there it’s traumatic.
“I am willing to be responsible for his release from prison, to bring him to the wedding hall for a few hours and to make sure nothing (illegal) happens, God forbid.
I am willing to accompany him throughout the event in line with the court’s decision. All so the bride gets to have her father attend her wedding.”
A representative of the Tel Aviv prosecutor’s office explained in the hearing that the defendant is accused of a long list of instances of extreme violence and ill-treatment.
“The concern is that if he leaves, he will influence his wife’s testimony,” he said.
The court will rule on the request in the coming days.
Attorney Haim Greenwald, who represents the defendant, said his client denies the charges against him. “His daughter asked him to come to the wedding,” said the lawyer.
“Honorable people came here promising to ensure that (he will be kept under watch).
All the complaints against him were filed years ago, so where is the danger?
“There will be separation in the wedding between men and women, so he will not come into contact with (his wife).
I do not understand the State Attorney’s Office’s obsession with him.”