Thursday, December 27, 2012

Parents Sue Rabbi For Sexual Assault and Defamation After He Received Light Criminal Sentence

Yesterday's Albany (NY) Times-Union reports on a civil suit for sexual assault and defamation that has been brought in state court in Albany County, New York against a former Chabad rabbi. In January 2010, Rabbi Yaakov Weiss plead guilty to misdemeanor charges of child endangerment after admitting inappropriate sexual contact with two 13-year old boys. Apparently Weiss' conduct with the boys took place in a mikveh (ritual purification pool). Under the plea agreement, Weiss was sentenced to 60 days in jail and 3 years probation, and was not required to register as a sexual offender. Weiss has also been suspended from his position with the local Chabad organization.  The boys parents, upset at the light sentence Weiss received, have now filed this civil suit which will come to trial next month. The defamation charges in the suit stem from Weiss' claim that the boys' allegations were "100% untrue." Meanwhile Weiss has complained to a rabbinical tribunal in Rockland County about the parents filing of the civil lawsuit.  The religious tribunal could potentially excommunicate the parents for bringing the lawsuit in civil court rather than submitting it to a religious tribunal for adjudication.