Rabbi Bodenheimer gets sex offender probation

By Steve Lieberman, (The Journal News)
November 4, 2015

NEW CITY - Monsey Rabbi Gabriel Bodenheimer has been sentenced to three years probation with sex offender conditions and banned from schools with children under 18 after his conviction for endangering a child.

Bodenheimer, 72, a respected educator for decades, had faced multiple sex abuse counts involving a 7-year-old boy but pleaded guilty to the lesser misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child. Prosecutors dropped the more serious charges at the behest of the child's family.

A Rockland grand jury indicted Bodenheimer on Aug. 8, 2014, alleging he abused the boy at the rabbi's school office between Aug. 1, 2009 and July 31, 2010. The initial charges could have carried a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

He refused to plead guilty and denied touching the boy during a telephone call with the child that was being monitored by prosecutors and police.

Judge Rolf Thorsen sentenced him Monday in front of prosecutor Richard Kennison Moran, the boy and his family.

Bodenheimer, who has 14 children and 100 grandchildren, has led the Bais Mikroh on Viola Road for decades, educating thousands of Orthodox Jewish boys. He had been active in the push to change the state education aid formula to bring more money to the East Ramapo School District and to the private schools that many of its young residents attend.