Monsey rabbi pleads not guilty in sex-abuse case

Gabriel Bodenheimer, 71, is principal of Yeshiva Bais

Gabriel Bodenheimer, 71, is principal of Yeshiva Bais Mikroh, a boys' yeshiva.

NEW CITY - A Monsey rabbi and principal at a local yeshiva was arraigned on charges of child sexual abuse and released on bail in Rockland County Tuesday.

At his arraignment, Gabriel Bodenheimer, 71, stood silently in court, shackled and wearing an orange jumpsuit. He pleaded not guilty to three counts of committing an illegal sex act and one of sex abuse involving an 8-year-old boy.

Bodenheimer posted $25,000 bail and was issued a stay-away order; a judge ordered him to surrender his passport. The rabbi's supporters ushered him out of court as he shielded his face with a paper bag.

Ramapo police arrested Bodenheimer Monday. Authorities said the investigation started when the boy and his parents reported the alleged abuse in December.

Bodenheimer, who is a father of 14 and grandfather of 100, has been principal of the Monsey yeshiva Bais Mikroh for more than 25 years and is considered a respected member of the community. His attorney said her client is looking forward to clearing his name.

"We will fight these allegations because they're not true, and we'll do that in a court of law," said defense attorney Deborah Lowenberg.

Bodenheimer is due back in court Aug. 26. His status with the yeshiva is unclear as his case makes its way through the courts.

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