Former New Jersey rabbi pleads guilty to sexually assaulting minor

Rabbi Menachem (Mendy) Weiss abused the boy between January and June 1999

By
September 10, 2019 16:29
1 minute read.
Jewish kippa

A member of the Jewish community wears a kippa. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A former New Jersey rabbi has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a minor.

Rabbi Menachem “Mendy” Weiss, who was living in Los Angeles at the time of his indictment, pleaded guilty on Monday to the aggravated sexual assault of an underage boy in New Jersey between January and June 1999.
The prosecution has recommended a six-year prison sentence, and that Weiss register as a sex offender.


Weiss was charged in March 2018 with two counts of aggravated sexual assault in the first degree, after a victim accused the rabbi of sexually assaulting him.

Meyer Seewald, founder and director of Jewish Community Watch, an organization dedicated to preventing child abuse in Orthodox Jewish communities, said that he was “disappointed that during an era of such awareness of the reality of sexual abuse, so many community members supported Weiss throughout the legal proceedings over the last two years.

“It took superhuman courage for this victim to come forward, and he and the other alleged victims deserve overwhelming support from the community. It was heart-wrenching to hear the victim describe in court how the abuse turned his life upside down, and how it has impacted him for two decades.”


Seewald called the victim a “warrior,” and said that his “incredible determination inspired me tremendously and I am thankful to have been there to witness his courage. No one can imagine what kind of bravery it takes to stand up and speak your most painful truth.”


In a statement following his 2018 arrest, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office said that Weiss had been arrested by police officers from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey at Newark Airport following a flight from Los Angeles.


The Jewish Journal reported at the time that Weiss agreed to fly from Los Angeles to Newark after authorities informed him of an outstanding warrant for his arrest.


The initial investigation was prompted after Woodcliff Lake police received information regarding the assault, according to a statement by the police department.


At the time of his arrest, Weiss was listed as married and working as a teacher.


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