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Saturday, 16 January 2010

'Israeli Fritzl' with harem of up to 30 wives and 60 children arrested on suspicion of incest and sexual abuse

'Israeli Fritzl' with harem of up to 30 wives and 60 children arrested on suspicion of incest and sexual abuse
15th January 2010

Israeli police have arrested a 60-year-old self-styled Jewish sage with a reported harem of up to 30 wives and 60 children on suspicion of incest and sexual abuse.
Goel Ratzon, who has been dubbed by the local media as ‘Israel’s Josef Fritzl’ is alleged to have kept the women and children as ‘slaves’ in squalid apartments around Tel Aviv.
Ratzon was remanded in custody on Tuesday, a police spokesman said after a gagging order was lifted on Thursday.
An undercover investigation was started in June last year after one woman came forward to complain of abuse.
'The evidence shows the suspect controlled his women with a firm hand, including their possessions and their money,' said a police statement, which added that Ratzon had written a 'rule book' for women he kept in 'conditions of slavery'.
'He would dictate what they could and could not do, limit their movements and impose sanctions and various punishments, including the use of violence if they refused to obey.'
Among the more serious allegations, police said Ratzon was suspected of fathering children with some of his own daughters. Police said 17 women and about 40 children were involved.
Several women who identified themselves as Ratzon's wives appeared in an Israeli television documentary aired last year. They were filmed feeding him and combing his hair.
'He is the messiah everyone is talking about,' one said. 'He is already here and he hasn't been revealed yet. The day he decides to reveal himself, the land will shake.'
The women wore the heavy dress of Orthodox Jews and bore tattoos of the bearded, bespectacled Ratzon's face.
He was also interviewed, introducing several of his children, all of whom had names with variations on Goel - Hebrew for 'redeemer'.
'I'm perfect,' Ratzon said in the documentary. 'I have all the qualities a woman wants.'
Ratzon's lawyer, Shlomtzion Gabai, said about 30 women and 60 children were linked to her client: 'As far as he is concerned, no sexual crimes have been committed,' she told Israel Radio. 'The women consented willingly to relations.'
The children have been taken into care and some of the women have been let free.
Ratzon is on remand in a Tel Aviv jail, awaiting a court appearance.

Ratzon's rule book

1 No women shall marry nor shall any woman attack another, either verbally or physically.
Fine: 2,000 shekels (£330) into the family kitty

2 No woman shall question another about her whereabouts.
Fine: 100 shekels

3 No conversation is permitted in rooms other than the living room. It is forbidden to talk nonsense.
Fine: 200 shekels

4 No woman shall sit idle when there are dishes to be washed, cleaning to be done, children to look after etc.
Fine: 2,000 shekels

5 Any two women caught fighting will be punished equally.
Fine: 2,000 shekels

6 It is absolutely forbidden to question Ratzon on his whereabouts or intention.
Fine: 400 shekels

7 It is permissible to ask to accompany him; but refusal is to be accepted without appeal.
Fine: 300 shekels

8 No woman shall interrupt Ratzon or intervene in matters not concerning her.
Fine: 500 shekels

9 All orders are to be obeyed immediately.
Fine: 300 shekels

10 No woman shall work while a man of over 12 years of age is in the house.
Fine 3,000 shekels

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