By Kerry Burke, Joe Stepansky and Daniel Beekman (NY Daily News)
February 15, 2013
A Brooklyn rabbi and travel guide exchanged sexually explicit online messages with an undercover cop he thought was a 14-year-old girl, then set up a date with her in Queens, prosecutors charged Thursday.
Nathan David Rabinowich, 59, was arrested Wednesday night when he showed up for the pervy rendezvous, police said. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted of attempted rape and other counts.
“It is disturbing that a man who is supposed to be held in high esteem by the community in which he lives would allegedly try to lure a child to meet him for sex,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Rabinowich was released Thursday night after making $25,000 bail.
“He’s innocent until proven guilty,” said his lawyer, Israel Fried, noting that observers may rush to judgment in the wake of the recent molestation conviction of Hasidic counselor Nechemya Weberman.
The rabbi holds services and runs his Jewish Heritage Tours out of his Sheepshead Bay home, authorities said.
“Wow, he seemed nice. Just normal,” neighbor David Abel said Thursday.