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Rape charges against Phoenix rabbi dropped

PHOENIX, Ariz. (Jewish News of Greater Phoenix) — Rape and sexual abuse charges against a Phoenix rabbi were dismissed six months after his arrest.

The criminal case against Rabbi Bryan Bramly was dismissed Sept. 15 in New York County Supreme Court, the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix reported.

Bramly has served as the spiritual leader of Temple Beth Sholom of the East Valley in Chandler, Ariz., since 2006.

Bramly, 45, was arrested March 23 in the parking lot of the temple by members of the U.S. Marshals Child Predator Apprehension Team and detectives with the New York Police Department’s Manhattan Child Abuse Unit.

Bramly, who is married with two children, was alleged to have raped a 7-year-old girl in March 2000 when she was spending the night at his family’s residence in New York City, where he was completing his studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary to become a rabbi. The girl, now 17, reported the rape to the authorities in August 2009, according to the Marshals Service.

In a Sept. 15 letter to Bramly’s lawyers, New York County Assistant District Attorney Rachel Ferrari wrote that there were inconsistencies in evidence and that the complainant was unable to remember details of the alleged incident.

"At this time, we no longer believe that we could sustain our burden at trial of proving the charges beyond a reasonable doubt," Ferrari wrote in the letter, which her office provided to the Jewish News.

"This is better than winning after trial," attorney Michael Shapiro, one of Bramly’s lawyers, told the Jewish News following the dismissal.

"How many times can you say nothing ever happened, that the authorities jumped the gun, and now they’re doing the right thing?" Shapiro asked. "They haven’t said, ‘Oops, we’re sorry,’ but somebody should."

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