Israel is not to be accused of pederasty. (Babylonian Talmud, Kiddushin 82a)
Rabbi allegedly told boy to lie
Founder of the Chabad of Colonie accused of sexually abusing 2 boys
Robert Gavin - Albany Times Union
August 26, 2009
ALBANY -- The sexual abuse case against a Loudonville rabbi now includes allegations he repeatedly slapped and kicked one 13-year-old boy and tried to get another child to remain silent.
Yaakov Weiss, 29, founder of the Chabad of Colonie and the Chabad Hebrew School, was initially charged in City Court last fall with sexually abusing the two 13-year-olds in 2007.
He was arraigned Tuesday in Albany County Court on a superseding four-count indictment that includes those charges, as well as allegations he tried to convince one of the two youngsters to lie about the sex abuse to his mother and police.
"Just say nothing happened," Weiss told the child on June 30 on Sycamore Street in Albany, the indictment said.
Weiss, who already faced charges in City Court in connection with the alleged incidents, was indicted Aug. 14. He faces up to one year behind bars on misdemeanor charges that include sexual abuse and child endangerment.
The rabbi pleaded not guilty before Judge Stephen Herrick as his family looked on from the gallery. Freed without bail, Weiss later exited the courthouse, his wife by his side and daughter on his arm.
The indictment contends Weiss took a far more menacing role two years ago.
It alleges that sometime between Jan. 1 and April 30, 2007, Weiss repeatedly struck one 13-year-old on the back on New Scotland Avenue, "knocking him to the ground and then kicked him in the leg."
The court papers say Weiss sexually abused one of the boys in June 2007 and the other between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 of that year. The incidents allegedly took place in a facility at 340 Whitehall Road in Albany.
In both cases, the indictment alleged that Weiss had sexual contact "consisting of placing his penis in contact with said child's buttocks." The incidents allegedly took place inside a pool, called a mikveh, used by some Jews for ritual purification, according to his attorney.
The indictment said one of the boys sought advice from Weiss, his teacher and spiritual leader, on Sycamore Street on June 30 that year.
Weiss allegedly "instructed the child to be untruthful" and to "not tell his mother or the police about an incident where the defendant subjected the victim to sexual contact."
Arnold Proskin, the lawyer for the rabbi, told reporters the allegations are baseless. He said one of the alleged victims is related to another rabbi with a possible ax to grind against his client.
Asked why the case went from City Court to Albany County Court, Proskin said, "Press coverage," adding, ''I'm being serious. There's no advantage (to it)."
Weiss sent an e-mail to the Times Union last October, after being charged, calling the charges "100 percent untrue."
"This has been generated by an individual who has been antagonistic toward Chabad of Colonie from its inception and continues to be envious of continued success," Weiss wrote at the time. "This is his way of getting rid of us."
Weiss moved to the Capital Region from Iowa in 2004. He adheres to a branch of Judaism known as Chabad-Lubavitch, which is known for its work to get Jews more involved in their religion.
In October, Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, chairman of Merkos L'inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of the Brooklyn-based worldwide Lubavitch group, told, the Times Union the rabbi was suspended. He added it was in "no way whatsoever implicating him or an admission or a decision of guilt."
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