update deskWorld News

Three Lev Tahor leaders convicted of child exploitation, kidnapping

“The defendants’ conduct—which included forced child marriages, physical beatings and family separations—is unthinkable,” stated the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

Stock illustration of a jail cell. Credit: Ichigo121212/Pixabay.
Stock illustration of a jail cell. Credit: Ichigo121212/Pixabay.

Three leaders of the Guatemala-based Jewish extremist group Lev Tahor (“pure heart”)—Yoil Weingarten, Yakov Weingarten and Shmiel Weingarten—were convicted of child exploitation and kidnapping.

The three kidnapped a 12-year-old boy and transported a 14-year-old girl “outside the United States to continue a sexual relationship with her adult male ‘husband,'” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Southern District of New York said on Wednesday.

“With this verdict, all nine Lev Tahor leaders and operatives charged for these heinous crimes have been held accountable,” the U.S. Justice Department stated.

“The defendants’ conduct—which included forced child marriages, physical beatings and family separations—is unthinkable and has caused irreparable harm to children in their formative years,” it added. “Whether in the name of religion or any other belief system, subjecting children to physical, sexual or emotional abuse will never be tolerated by this office.”

Lev Tahor, a cult that has been described as “the Jewish Taliban” due to its rigid dress code, was founded by anti-Zionist rabbi Shlomo Helbrans in Jerusalem in 1988.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war.

JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you.

The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support?

Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates