Fresh arrests made in Paris Chabad molestation probe

(JTA) — French police arrested two Jewish men from Paris on suspicion that they pressured parents of allegedly molested minors not to press charges.

The two men, identified as Andre T. and Rabbi A., were arrested July 31, according to the RTL news network. They denied the allegations, the report said.

The actions attributed to them are connected to sexual abuse allegations at the Chabad-Lubavitch Beth Hannah elementary school for boys. A supervisor at the school was indicted for sexual abuse of minors last year, the French news agency AFP reported, and a principal, Rabbi Benjamin M., was indicted in February for “non-reporting of sexual abuse of minors under 15 years” of age.

Both men are senior members of the Chabad movement in the Paris region, RTL reported.

In a perceived reaction to the Beth Hannah affair, the Rabbinical Centre of Europe — an organization in which senior Chabad rabbis hold key positions — issued a strongly worded statement in April urging “educational institutions to stop covering up abuse of children and in general.”

The statement came at the end of the annual session in Paris of the center’s Rabbinical Council, which appointed a special advisory committee on abuse in educational institutions headed by Binyomin Jacobs, a chief Dutch rabbi, and Rabbi Yitzchak Rubin of Manchester, England.

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