Rabbi found not guilty of sexual abuse

A well-known rabbi from Rockland County has been found not guilty of sexual abuse.



Rabbi Moshe Taubenfeld, 55, had been accused of molesting a young boy who needed counseling after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Taubenfeld's accuser, Laiby Stern, says he was abused from ages 8 through 13.



Rockland County Court Judge Rolff Thorsen announced the verdict after a non-jury trial. When making the verdict, Thorsen explained that he had to follow the letter of the law, not base his verdict on public opinion.



Taubenfeld did not take the witness stand in his own defense. His attorney, Gerard Damiani, had said that Stern's testimony was not credible and filled with inconsistencies.



The rabbi was facing seven years behind bars if convicted.



Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe had no comment on the verdict.


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