Israeli busted over harem says he's innocent

The Associated Press/February 10, 2010

Jerusalem - A cult-like Israeli figure who kept a harem of women and fathered their children says allegations he enslaved and raped some of them are false.

Goel Ratzon spoke for the first time since his arrest last month at a court hearing Wednesday. "It's not true, they can say whatever they want," he told reporters when asked about the allegations.

Police accuse Ratzon, 60, of keeping at least 17 women in a state of near-total obedience in apartments in the Tel Aviv area. They say the women bore him 37 children, some of whom are also his grandchildren.

Ratzon, who sports long white hair and beard, is set to be indicted next week. Charges include enslavement, rape and incest.

Some of the women Ratzon kept said they found him irresistible.

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