A 59-year-old Brooklyn rabbi has been arrested in a police sting operation in which he allegedly attempted to meet a 14-year-old girl who he had been exchanging sexually explicit messages with.
The rabbi had in fact been sending messages to an undercover policeman, and Rabbi Nathan David Rabinowich has now been charged with crimes including attempted rape, the New York Daily News (NYDN) reported.
The rabbi, who is a Jewish heritage tour guide, faces a possible four-year sentence. The charges come less than a month after Chasidic Brooklyn Rabbi Nechemya Weberman was given 103 years in jail for 59 counts of sexual abuse.
Mr Rabinowich, also known as Nosson Dovid Rabinowich, described himself as “the Mara d'Asra [halachic authority] of Beis Medrash Ahavas Torah, a prolific author, and teacher” in a self-penned article titled “Are We Teaching Chumash Correctly to our Children?”
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown told NYDN: “It is disturbing that a man who is supposed to be held in high esteem by the community in which he lives would allegedly try to lure a child to meet him for sex.”
SNAP, a charity for the survivors of those abused by clergy, released a statement saying they hoped that members of Rabinowich’s synagogue would ask their friends and fellow congregants “if they ever saw, suspected, or suffered crimes at this rabbi’s hands”.