Final 3 defendants in Lev Tahor cult abduction case convicted of kidnapping 2 children in 2018

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) — Three members of the extremist Jewish Lev Tahor religious cult were convicted of kidnapping two children by a New York court on Wednesday.Brothers Yoil Weingarten, Yakov Weingarten and Shmiel Weingarten were convicted of child exploitation and kidnapping for their role in abducting a 14-year-old girl and her 12-year-old brother from their mother’s home in the Catskills in New York in 2018.The brothers were the last of nine suspects in the case to stand trial. All have been convicted or pleaded guilty, including Lev Tahor’s leader, Nachman Helbrans, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2022 for kidnapping and transporting minors for sexual purposes and other charges. Lev Tahor means “pure heart” in Hebrew.“With this verdict, all nine Lev Tahor leaders and operatives charged for these heinous crimes have been held accountable,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York said in a statement, calling the defendants’ conduct “unthinkable.”

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