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Court sentences Israeli cult leader to 30 years

October 28, 2014

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli court sentenced a convicted polygamist and cult leader to 30 years in prison Tuesday.

Goel Ratzon was found guilty of rape, incest and other offenses in September, but acquitted of enslavement charges.

His sentencing in Tel Aviv District Court ended a saga that began in 2010 when details of Ratzon’s cult first emerged. The court found that Ratzon kept at least 21 “wives,” some of whom tattooed his name on their bodies along with images of the short 64 year old with long white hair and beard.

The children they bore him were named after variations of his first name Goel, or “savior” in Hebrew.

Israeli media reported that Ratzon’s “wives” bore him more than 30 children.

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