'Child-starving' mom indicted in Jerusalem

Jerusalem Post/August 4, 2009

An indictment was served Tuesday in the Jerusalem District Court against a haredi woman suspected of starving her three-year-old child over a period of two years. The woman's internment sparked riots in Jerusalem which lasted nearly a week.

The mother is being accused of abusing a helpless infant. The ultra-orthodox Toldot Aharon sect to which the woman belongs threatened to renew riots if she is remanded again or if the conditions of her house arrest are worsened.

The woman underwent a psychiatric evaluation last week and was found fit for trial.

Since her arrest, the mother has consistently refused to cooperate with investigators, and has been erratic in appearing for both court hearings and psychiatric evaluations.

Her son, who weighed just 7 kilograms when he was admitted to Hadassha Ein Kerem Hospital at the end of June, was discharged last Friday to the care of relatives. He had gained at least 3 kilograms back while he was hospitalized.

At the end of June, members of the extreme religious sect Toldot Aharon rioted throughout religious neighborhoods in the capital in protest of the arrest of the mother. Only after police released the woman to house arrest did the violence subside.

Throughout the saga, the mother has maintained her innocence, and has insisted that her child suffers from multiple illnesses which have caused him to eat improperly.

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