Jerusalem – Less than one week after being convicted on two counts of sexual assault, a well known Breslover rabbi has expressed remorse for his actions and been sentenced to a relatively light prison term.
As previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/2fnzK1j), Rabbi Eliezer Berland accepted a plea bargain agreement on two counts of indecent assault involving two different women. The 79 year old was also convicted on a single charge of assault against one of his followers who went public with claims of abuse against Rabbi Berland.
Rabbi Berland publicly admitted his guilt today just before his plea bargain was approved, reported Arutz Sheva.
“I regret, from the deepest part of my heart, and apologize to everyone I hurt, man or woman, male or female,” said Rabbi Berland.
After fleeing Israel in 2013, Rabbi Berland criss-crossed the globe hoping to evade Israeli authorities, spending time in the United States, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherland, Morocco, Zimbabwe and South Africa. He was finally extradited to Israel in July and taken into custody by Israeli authorities. Rabbi Berland was sentenced to 18 months in prison but will be credited for the time he has already served.
Rabbi Berland acknowledged that his sentence was relatively light.
“For the things I did, back in Biblical days, they would have stoned me or burned me to death,” said Rabbi Berland. “But today they’re lenient in the punishments and I want to keep this agreement.”