Lev Tahor leaders controlled care of children, hearing told

Lev Tahor children are walked home during the lunch hour from the makeshift school they attend in...

Lev Tahor children are walked home during the lunch hour from the makeshift school they attend in Chatham, Ont., Friday, November 29, 2013. (Diana Martin/QMI Agency)

Jennifer O'Brien, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:41 AM ET

LONDON, Ont. -- The care of the Lev Tahor kids who settled in this area last fall seemed to be controlled by community leaders, not their own parents, an Ontario court heard earlier this month.

Details of the hearing held March 5 behind closed doors in Chatham, Ont., are contained in a transcript released Wednesday in response to a request from several media outlets.

The ultra-orthodox Jewish sect fled Quebec last fall amid a child-welfare probe, and settled in Chatham. They deny allegations of child abuse and neglect, including forced marriages of girls as young as 14.

The hearing was held after 14 children left Chatham in violation of a court order. At the conclusion of the hearing, a judge issued an emergency seizure order.

Six of the children were since intercepted in Trinidad, two others in Calgary. Six others are thought to be in Guatemala.

 


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