Page last updated at 16:05 GMT, Monday, 26 April 2010 17:05 UK

Israel jails man for 'holy semen' sex abuse

An Israeli man has been imprisoned for 10 years for tricking women into sexual acts by claiming his semen was holy and had healing powers.

Nissim Aharon, a former employee at the Israeli defence ministry, was convicted of rape, sodomy, indecent acts and aggravated fraudulent acquisition.

Women paid him large sums of money, believing he was a holy rabbi who could heal body and soul, the court said.

Judges called his actions "monstrous", exploiting "women young and old".

The sentence was the result of a plea bargain, and was handed down at Petah Tikvah district court.

Under it, Aharon will also have to pay 100,000 Israeli shekels ($26,866) to each of five women who filed the complaint against him.

'Holy fluid'

Aharon, who was arrested last August, "over many years presented himself as a righteous man, as a saint with healing powers, who exploited the naivity of women and teenage girls, while carrying out appalling sexual acts and obtaining large sums of money by fraud," the Israeli Justice Ministry said in a statement.

He would claim to be a rabbi, and impersonate figures in authority who would then refer women and teenage girls to himself, the ministry said.

"He would give these people different explanations: among others, that a holy scent comes from him, and that his semen is a holy fluid, which by contact could heal body and soul," the statement said.

He would also claim that his "holiness" could be passed to those who touched him physically, cleansing their bodies, it said.

Aharon also pretended that he worked in posts in the security establishment, including for the Israeli intelligence services Mossad and Shin Bet, the ministry said.

"His behaviour is despicable and even monstrous," the judges said. "There are no words to describe the ugliness of his actions... The sexual offences are severe and numerous.

"His sexual appetite could not be satisfied. There were no means that he would not use in order to exploit women young and old," the judges said.

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