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New Square rebbe seeks dismissal of arson suit

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NEW YORK (JTA) — Rabbi David Twersky, the grand rebbe of the Skverer Chasidic sect in the New York village of New Square, has requested the dismissal of a lawsuit implicating him in an arson attack.

Twersky’s lawyer, Franklyn Snitow, moved to have the suit in New York State Supreme Court tossed out Monday, according to The Journal News, saying it lacked “factual basis.”

Aron Rottenberg, who was badly burned in an alleged arson attack on May 22, filed the suit against Twersky and Shaul Spitzer, an 18-year old resident who once did butler work for the rebbe. Rottenberg is seeking an $18 million judgment against each of the defendants.

The suit accuses Twersky of directing and condoning a campaign of harassment against Rottenberg, his wife and his children because of his refusal to pray in the main village synagogue presided over by Twersky.

Spitzer has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder, attempted arson and assault. He is free on $300,000 bail.

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