Rabbi’s sexual abuse trial opens

(JTA) – The alleged victim took the stand as the sexual molestation case against a rabbi began in a New York courtroom.

Rabbi Baruch Lebovits, 59, who owns a travel agency in Borough Park, is accused of sexually molesting a Jewish teenager in 2004 and 2005. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted of a criminal sexual act in the second degree.

The alleged victim, now 22, testified Wednesday in Brooklyn Supreme Court that the rabbi assaulted him in his car several times over a 10-month period, luring him into the vehicle with promises that he could drive, the New York Daily News reported.

He is no longer a part of the Chasidic community and has been treated for drug addictions that began after the alleged assaults, the paper said.

Lebovits’ lawyer in opening statements called the alleged victim a "con man."

Lebovits is awaiting trial on charges of molesting two others, according to the Daily News.
 

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