Tel Aviv polygamist indicted


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Tel Aviv polygamist cult leader was indicted on dozens of charges of sex offenses.

Goel Ratzon, who is reported to have up to 32 wives and 89 children living in an apartment complex in southern Tel Aviv, was indicted Sunday on charges including rape, sodomy, indecent assault, enslavement and sexual abuse within the family, according to reports. Some of his victims reportedly were minors.

Ratzon made the women believe he was the savior of the world and that he had supernatural abilities.

"The defendant captured the women in a human group structure with the nature of a pseudo-family revolving around the ritual of his image, turning the birth of his children into a supreme goal the wives must aspire to, all with the aim of glorifying him while serving him and providing all his needs," according to the indictment.

Ratzon alienated the women from their families and only allowed them to speak in public areas of their home.

Ratzon, 60, never officially married any of the women that he calls his wives. Police learned of his cult in 2000, but social workers determined that the children were well fed, clean and clothed properly. 

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