Sect leader arrives for interrogation in Israel


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The spiritual leader of a religious sect accused of child abuse was extradited to Israel.

Elior Chen, 29, was taken directly to a Jerusalem police station for interrogation Wednesday after landing in Israel from Brazil.

Chen allegedly urged his followers to abuse their children, including beatings, forcing them to eat feces and pouring household cleaners into open wounds to "correct their corrupt souls."

His alleged abuse of one woman’s children led to two of them, then aged 4 and 5, being hospitalized in March 2008 in critical condition and another, then 3, remaining in a persistent vegetative state. Their mother, who accepted a plea bargain in exchange for her testimony, faces five years in prison.

Chen was arrested in June 2008 in Sao Paulo. He fought extradition in a number of Brazilian courts, including the Supreme Court. His appeal to the high court was rejected in May.

Chen is scheduled to appear Thursday in a Jerusalem court.

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