By The New York Times
February 15, 2013
A rabbi has been arrested after sending sexually explicit messages online to a person he thought was a 14-year-old girl and arranging to meet her in Queens for sex, the district attorney’s office said on Thursday. Instead, a New York police detective had impersonated the girl, the authorities said.
The rabbi, Nathan David Rabinowich, 59, of Brooklyn, was arrested Wednesday. He was charged with four sexual offenses, including attempted rape, the Queens district attorney’s office said in a statement.
“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,” the district attorney, Richard A. Brown, said.
Rabbi Rabinowich runs a tour company and a synagogue from his home in the Midwood section, according to the statement. He exchanged online messages, some sexually graphic, with the detective in December and this month, the statement said.
The rabbi was arraigned Thursday evening, and bail was set at $50,000, a spokeswoman for Mr. Brown’s office said.
He is scheduled to appear in court again on March 7.
A lawyer for Rabbi Rabinowich did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment late Thursday night.