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Rabbi faces up to 8 years in jail for sexual misconduct

Jewish Bulletin of Northern California
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 24 (JTA) — The California rabbi accused of sexually molesting a Bat Mitzvah student has pleaded no contest to the charges and faces up to eight years in prison. Rabbi Sidney Goldenberg, formerly of Petaluma’s Congregation B’nai Israel, last week entered his plea at Santa Rosa Municipal Court in response to a charge of lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor younger than 14. The sexual misconduct took place during several months late last year while Goldenberg was tutoring a 12-year-old girl for her Bat Mitzvah, officials said. Police said Goldenberg, 58, took the girl into his office, made lewd remarks, touched her breasts and asked that she put her hands into his pockets. A plea of no contest is the legal equivalent of a guilty plea. The rabbi pleaded no contest “just to make himself feel better,” said Gary Medvigy, Sonoma County deputy district attorney. The rabbi’s attorney, Stephen Gallenson, did not return repeated phone calls seeking comment.