Image: Goel Ratzon
Moti Milrod  /  AP file
Goel Ratzon, 60, whose first name is Hebrew for "Savior", denies any wrongdoing.
updated 2/14/2010 8:18:42 AM ET 2010-02-14T13:18:42

A 60-year-old Israeli man who kept a harem of at least 21 women who bore him 49 children has been charged with enslavement, rape, incest and other sexual offenses.

Goel Ratzon was arrested last month but wasn't charged formally until Sunday.

Ratzon, who remains behind bars, denies wrongdoing.

The 25-page indictment accuses him of setting himself up as a "godlike" figure who preyed on troubled women while treating them like "chattel."

It said he created an "image of an omnipotent one who was blessed with supernatural powers and the ability to heal, destroy and cast curses."

Police were aware of Ratzon for years, but say they couldn't make any allegations stick until three of the women brought complaints to welfare authorities.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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