Israeli polygamist, cult leader convicted of sexual offenses


JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli polygamist and cult leader was convicted of several sexual offenses, including raping his wives.

Goel Ratzon, 64, was convicted Monday in Tel Aviv District Court on charges including rape, sodomy, indecent assault and sexual abuse within the family. He was cleared on one charge of sexually enslaving one of the women that he called his wife.

Ratzon was arrested and indicted 4 1/2 years ago following a complaint filed by one of his of 21 “wives,” with whom he fathered 38 children.

He made the women believe that he was the savior of the world and had supernatural abilities. Ratzon also alienated the women from their families and only allowed them to speak in public areas of their home.

Ratzon never officially married any of the women that he called his wives.

Recommended from JTA