Sunday, June 20, 2010

New sex abuse allegations against Rabbi Baruch Lebovits

New sex abuse allegations - at least one stretching back more than a decade - are surfacing against a once-respected Brooklyn rabbi recently convicted of molesting a teen. A 29-year-old Borough Park man went to the police saying that Rabbi Baruch Lebovits fondled him in a ritual bath, known as a mikvah, when he was just a teen. Several more men have reached out to police to share stories of sexual abuse at the hands of the rabbi. Lebovits was sentenced to 10 to 32 years in prison for sex assaults on a 16-year-old boy - a stunning turn in the life of a cantor who led popular religious services in Brooklyn and upstate. The conviction appears to have drawn out other men who now say Lebovits victimized them for years. On top of this, a Brooklyn judge is supposed to decide whether two other sex-abuse cases against the rabbi can continue: an 18-year-old man told cops that Lebovits attacked him in a car two years ago; and a 22-year-old man said Lebovits abused him starting when he was 12, and continued until he was 16. His name has been linked with other high-profile incidents in the tight-knit Hasidic community. After Borough Park newlywed Motty Borger killed himself, a newspaper report claimed the 24-year-old man had said he was molested by Lebovits. In May 2010, 28-year-old Meir Dascalowitz of Williamsburg was charged with molesting a 12-year-old boy in a mikvah. Police said Dascalowitz told them that he had been abused by Lebovits as a teen.

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