According to news reports, a mother of twelve from Beit Shemesh was arrested for severely abusing her children, who were having incestuous relationships with one another in the home. The woman was covered in several layers of clothing and initially refused to reveal her face to the judge.
Trilcat wrote to me suggesting that this might be Rabbanit Keren herself, but there is a discrepancy regarding the number of children; previous news articles reported that she had ten.
Batya and Trilcat both emailed me the Jerusalem Post report:
The defendant, who was covered in layers of clothing, did not speak in court.Her attorney, who successfully attained a court order barring the publication of his client’s name, explained that the woman “did not speak with men,” and that he would speak on her behalf, according to a court protocol of the proceedings. [emphasis Batya’s]
Commenter Abbi saw the TV news and reports that the woman had on multiple layers and a shawl. She also sent this Ynet report. My translation:
The investigation began a month and a half ago when a boy called the Beit Shemesh police to complain about trauma he was enduring; in the background were sounds of breaking dishes. The police investigators and the local social services came to the house of the family, which was already known to social services. The boy who had made the complaint was removed from the house.
Sometime afterward the boy’s brother told the police of abuse and incest among several members of the family. According to suspicions, the children had sexual relations with one another in the home; the mother was aware and did nothing.
The mother is suspected of hitting the children for two years with blunt objects, including a rolling pin and electric cables. Similarly she is suspected of preventing them from getting medical treatment. One of the children had to sleep outside if he came home late. The mother maintained that this is her educational philosophy.
The social services took all of the children out of the house and brought them to different places. The police are intending to investigate the father regarding his involvement.
Rafi put the news report up on Youtube. According to the television news, the defendant refused to show her face to the court at first. Eventually she agreed to show only her eyes. The lawyer of the accused claims that the defendant did not know of any incest, and that people in the community, who don’t like the way the she dresses, made up the stories.
The news report mentions two other recent incidents of serious child abuse by mothers in Israel. One involves a religious American family from a prestigious Jerusalem neighborhood, and the third mother is from Or Yehuda, a development town.
Thanks to my cyber-friends for their help with this report.