Investigations in Israel of a suspected cult leader who is accused of “raping and enslaving” numerous women took a dramatic turn today as one of his alleged victims agreed to testify. “The head of the cult, Goal Ratzon, was arrested on Monday on suspicions of rape, enslavement, and indecent assault of minors, police announced on Thursday. Police also detained Ratzon’s 17 female companions whom Ratzon considers his wives (polygamy is outlawed in Israel) and 38 of his 60 children for questioning. A., one of the 17 women, gave a statement to investigators Friday morning. Police came away from the session encouraged that A. may be willing to step forward as the central prosecution witness in the case against Ratzon. Prosecutors hope to issue an indictment against Ratzon within the next 10 days. Police suspect that Ratzon imposed a harsh and unforgiving regime on his household, which had a rule book complete with punishments. Police say this is evidence of enslavement. Some of the prohibitions in the book include interrupting Ratzon, idling, arguing with him or with each other, and laughing indoors.”
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