By Christina Carrega-Woodby (NY Daily News)
June 23, 2016
A Brooklyn jury convicted an NYPD officer who'd been caught on tape admitting to molesting a young girl.
Jacob Sabbagh, 33, was busted in December when the now 21-year-old woman came forward to report a family friend touched her inappropriately numerous times when she was between 10 and 13 years old.
“Her parents trusted him. He is a member of their religious community. No one would think a 23-year-old man had an interest in their 10-year-old girl,” said Assistant District Attorney Grace Brainard in her closing arguments in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Wednesday.
The victim’s name is being withheld because of the nature of the charges.
The seven men and five women jurors deliberated for almost three hours before finding Sabbagh (photo) guilty of the course of sexual conduct charge.
Sabbagh faces up to seven years in prison when Justice Alan Marrus sentences him Sept. 7. The judge ordered Sabbagh to turn over his Israeli passport.
The abuse happened between 2005 to 2008, before Sabbagh joined the NYPD in January 2009. The victim’s family moved to Israel, which is where she reported the incidents to police, prosecutors said. Authorities in Israel then reached out to the Brooklyn district attorney’s office.
“The victim had the courage to speak out against the abuser, and we will now see that he is punished,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson.
Sabbagh was suspended without pay and stripped of his badge and gun after the allegations came to light.
Sabbagh’s attorney John Arlia argued that the victim is “delusional,” and was “troubled” because, at the time, her parents were going through a divorce.
The jurors rejected those claims — thanks in large part to a 40-minute conversation the victim had with Sabbagh that she secretly taped.
“The past is in the past, you have to move on from this ... this should have never happened, it was a mistake,” Sabbagh said on the audio recording.