Minnesota rabbi sentenced to probation after arrest in child sex sting operation


(JTA) — A Minnesota rabbi who worked in student outreach was sentenced to probation after being arrested in a child sex sting operation last year.

Rabbi Aryeh Cohen last week received from a judge in Ramsey County district court a stayed 30-day sentence, was ordered to serve 150 hours of community service, undergo mental health counseling and register as a sex offender, the Pioneer Press reported. He will be on probation for three years.

He is currently registered under Minnesota’s Predatory Offender Act.

Cohen pleaded guilty late last year to one count of engaging in electronic communication relating or describing sexual conduct with a child after reaching a plea deal with the state. A count related to the online solicitation of a child for sex was dropped under the plea deal. He had faced up to six years in prison.

Cohen and dozens of others were arrested and charged in the undercover operation days before the Feb. 4, 2018 Super Bowl in Minneapolis. He was arrested outside an apartment in North St. Paul, where a federal agent posing as a 15-year-old suggested they meet after a week of communicating through a hook-up site.

Cohen was the director of outreach for the Minneapolis Community Kollel, an Orthodox community center that offers seminars and classes on Jewish texts and religious life. He ran the Kollel’s JWAY program for college students and recent graduates. He was subsequently fired from the Kollel. He and his wife, Adina, also led private text studies with male and female students at the Hillel on the University of Minnesota campus, though he was not employed by Hillel.

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