Lev Tahor Leaders Sentenced to Kidnapping Teens For Illegal Marriage

Lev Tahor Leaders Sentenced to Kidnapping Teens For Illegal Marriage

  • Two members of the extremist Jewish group Lev Tahor received 12 years imprisonment sentences.
  • Meyer Rosner and Nachman Rosner were the leaders. They kidnapped a teenage girl who had escaped a marriage that was illegal. 
  • Prosecutors said that Helbrans did not show any remorse, and plotted to kidnap her from jail again.

Two members of the extremist Jewish cult Lev Tahor received 12 years in prison sentences on Thursday. They were each found guilty of kidnapping and smuggling charges. The scheme involved a 14 year-old girl being smuggled from New York to Mexico to be married.

Meyer Rosner and Nachman Helbrans were also given an additional five-year probation. They are now required to register as sex offenders.

Rosner and Helbrans were found guilty in November after a trial. The jury found that Rosner and Helbrans were involved in a plot to kidnap a 12-year-old boy and girl from their mothers’ New York home and send them off to Mexico. From there, they tried to bring them back to Guatemala. Lev Tahor, an Israeli official, attempted to hide the fact that the scheme was being carried out.

Nachman Helbrans assumed Lev Tahor’s position in 2017. According to prosecutors, Rosner was his top lieutenant. Under their control, in Guatemala, the younger Helbrans and Rosner arranged for the girl — who is also Helbrans’ niece — to marry an 18-year-old man, when she was 12 years old.

“Lev Tahor leadership, including HELBRANS and ROSNER, required young brides to have sex with their husbands, to tell people outside Lev Tahor that they were not married, to pretend to be older, and to deliver babies inside their homes instead of at a hospital, to conceal the mothers’ young ages from the public,” In a November press release, the Justice Department stated that.

The girl and her mother fled the base of the cult in Guatemala and made their way to New York. Rosner and Helbrans kidnapped the girl and her older brother, and smuggled them into Mexico. This reunited the 14-year-old girl and her mother, who were 20 years old. “husband.”

The children were recovered in Mexico and returned to their parents, but Helbrans and Rosner made two more kidnapping attempts in March 2019 and March 2021, prosecutors said — including while Helbrans was in jail awaiting trial.

Prosecutors stated that Helbrans was guilty of a crime in a sentencing memo. “no qualms”About his crimes.

“Helbrans’ unapologetic support for underage sexual relationships and his unsuccessful defense at trial that he was merely ‘rescuing the children’ — an argument that is untethered to the facts and predicated on a string of lies — suggests that he would repeat his efforts the day he is released from prison, if not sooner,”They wrote.

Nachman Helbrans was the father of Lev Tahor. He founded it in the 1980s. This group is known for its extremist views that have led to it being marginalized by many Jewish communities. Shlomo Helfrans forbade teaching any Jewish text, except the Torah, Old Testament, and books he wrote.

Nachman Helbrans was the one who took control of the group following the death of his father in 2017. Mendy Levy, an ex-member of Lev Tahor, said that the group became more extreme after his father died in 2017. He stated that Nachman Helfbrans was responsible for forcing the marriage of underage couples.

“I was 15 years old. They wanted to force me to marry a 12-year-old girl, who was also my first cousin,”He told Insider. “I didn’t want to and she didn’t want to, so I had to get myself out of there.”

The group has traveled the world, avoiding the attention of child welfare and law enforcement authorities in the United States, Canada, Israel.

Since early 2022, the group had been trying to gain footing in Bosnia Herzegovina (North Macedonia) According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Members who have escaped Continue to pleadfor authorities to continue investigating Lev Tahor, and help them reunite with their family members.

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