Rubashkin acquitted in child labor case


(JTA) — Kosher meatpacking executive Sholom Rubashkin was acquitted in an Iowa state court of child labor violations.

Rubashkin was found not guilty on all 67 counts of child labor violations, relating to 26 teenagers from South America who worked at the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa.

Several then-underage workers at the Agriprocessors plant were flown in from Guatemala by the court to testify against Rubashkin.

The jury reached its verdict during the second day of deliberations. The state trial in Waterloo, Iowa, had lasted a month.

“This is a vindication by a courageous jury that Sholom is not the kind of man that would want minors working his father’s plant,” said F. Montgomery Brown, a member of the Rubashkin defense team.

Rubashkin was convicted last November on 86 federal financial fraud charges in connection with the plant. His sentencing in that case is set for this month.

In a news release, Rubashkin’s attorneys said Monday’s verdict calls into question the validity of the federal bank fraud conviction since federal prosecuters asserted during the trial that Rubashkin knowingly hired underage illegal aliens.  

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

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