Israeli court convicts polygamist cult leader who kept harem of women who bore dozens of kids

National Post | News

JERUSALEM — An Israeli court convicted a polygamist cult leader of sex crimes on Monday, after he kept a harem of women who bore him dozens of children in a state of near total obedience.

The Tel Aviv District court convicted Goel Ratzon of rape, incest and other offences, but acquitted him of an enslavement charge, sparking cries of outrage in the courtroom.

The case shocked Israelis when details of the cult emerged in 2010. Ratzon kept at least 21 “wives,” some of whom tattooed his name on their bodies along with images of the short 64-year-old with long white hair and beard.

The children they bore him were named after variations of his first name Goel, or “saviour” in Hebrew.

AFP PHOTO/YOSSI ZELIGER AFP PHOTO/YOSSI ZELIGER

Yehudit Herman, who was part of the harem, told channel 2 television she had mixed feelings about the court’s decisions. She said she was “really happy”…

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