State rests in Rubashkin child labor trial


(JTA) — The state rested its case in the child labor trial of kosher meatpacking executive Sholom Rubashkin.

Prosecutors on Tuesday wrapped up their case, which included the testimony of several then-underage workers at the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, Iowa, who were flown in from Guatemala to testify against Rubashkin.

Also Tuesday, defense attorneys asked the judge to dismiss the 83 child labor violation charges against Rubashkin, saying that the state did not present evidence linking Rubashkin to the hiring of minors. The charges include that minors worked excessive hours and were exposed to poisonous chemicals and dangerous machinery at the plant.

The Agriprocessors plant was the site of a federal immigration raid in May 2008 in which 389 illegal immigrants, including 31 children, were arrested.

Rubashkin’s sentencing on his conviction on 86 federal financial fraud charges in connection with the Postville kosher meat processing plant was postponed by U.S. District Court Judge Linda Reade from Thursday to June 22 in order to allow the completion of the state trial.

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