New York, July 11: Three Jewish cult group leaders in the US were sent behind bars for more than ten years for kidnapping two kids on Tuesday, July 8. One of the minor abductees was married, not legally, to a man before her mother left the group. The girl, a "child bride", was being forced to have sex with her adult "husband". The three accused kidnapped the children when their mother fled the cult group anticipating dangers for her kids.

According to reports, three accused brothers, identified as Yakov Weingarten (34), Smiel Weingarten (28), and Yoil Weingarten (36), were members of the extremist Lev Tahor sect. This secretive group reportedly adheres to an "extreme" interpretation of Jewish law. In March, the brothers were convicted of allegedly kidnapping a 14-year-old girl and her 12-year-old brother. Their mother had fled Lev Tahor, a group known for practices such as child marriages, underage sex, and family separations, according to US Attorney Damian Williams. US Human Trafficking Case: 15 Women Found Living at Princeton House With No Furniture, Indian Couple Among 4 Arrested for Running Forced Labour Scheme.

The brothers, residing in Guatemala, executed the abduction with the help of various disguises, aliases, burner phones, counterfeit travel documents, and encrypted applications. After an extensive three-week search, the two kids were returned to their mother. The kidnappers took the children from their home late at night and smuggled them to Mexico to reunite the girl with an adult man, reportedly her husband. US Shocker: Teacher Arrested for Allegedly Having Sex With 16-Year-Old Student, Victim's Father Charged for Allowing Son To Have Relationship With Accused.

Speaking to the New York Post, the US Southern District Court said that Shmiel was sentenced to jail for 14 years, and Takov and Yoil were sentenced for 12 years of imprisonment. The extremist group has been seen practising “unadulterated Judaism,” which requires extreme modesty for women and girls, mandating they wear burka-like coverings from head to toe.

Women and Child Helpline Numbers:

Childline India – 1098; Women’s Helpline – 181; National Commission for Women Helpline – 112; National Commission for Women Helpline Against Violence – 7827170170; Police Women / Senior Citizen Helpline – 1091/ 1291; Missing Child and Women – 1094.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 11, 2024 11:11 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website