2013-01-17 / Front Page

Rabbi makes first court appearance in Penn.

E.B.’s Aryeh Goodman faces prison term if convicted of indecent assault on minor
BY JAMES McEVOY
Staff Writer

EAST BRUNSWICK — Rabbi Aryeh Goodman, accused of 12 counts of indecent assault of a juvenile over a decade ago at a summer camp in Pennsylvania, could face up to five years in prison on each count if he is found guilty.

According to a Pennsylvania State Police report obtained by Greater Media Newspapers last week, a 23-year-old male told authorities in the summer of 2012 that he had been assaulted by Goodman, now 30, when he was 12 years old and attending Camp Menachem in Lackawaxen Township, Pike County, Pa., in 2001. Goodman was a counselor at the camp.

The police report describes the nature of the allegation as an “indecent assault.”

Under Pennsylvania state law, indecent assault is considered a first-degree misdemeanor since the complainant was under the age of 13 at the time of the alleged assault.

Pennsylvania State Trooper Connie Devens said each misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison upon conviction. Devens noted that if Goodman were found guilty, sentencing would depend on how many counts he was found guilty of and if the judge chose to enforce the counts concurrently or consecutively.

The affidavit of probable cause states the accuser alleged that Goodman touched him inappropriately on “at least 10 occasions” at the camp and additionally while in transit to and at an overnight trip while attending the camp.

An arrest warrant was issued for Goodman on Jan. 3 and he was taken into custody by officers from the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 4. Goodman was held at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center, North Brunswick, before being transported to Pennsylvania.

According to a Pennsylvania Magisterial District Court docket obtained by Greater Media Newspapers, a preliminary arraignment was held on Jan. 14, and a preliminary hearing has been set for Jan. 23 in Pennsylvania. Magisterial District Judge Deborah Fischer presided over the arraignment and will preside over the hearing.

According to a public court summary and docket sheet, Goodman is currently incarcerated at Pike County Correctional Facility, Lords Valley, Pa., with bail set at $35,000.

Court documents list Michael E. Weinstein of Milford, Pa., as the attorney representing Goodman. When reached for comment Weinstein said he does not comment on his cases.

The East Brunswick Chabad is a local Jewish outreach and educational group and Hebrew school. In October 2011, the organization entered into a lease agreement with the township to lease the former McGinnis School on Hardenburg Lane and transform the former school building into a community education center.

Previously, a woman who answered the phone at the community education center this week said the organization had no comment.

Rabbi Mendel Herson of the Morristownbased Rabbinical College of America (RCA) issued a statement following Goodman’s arrest indicating that Goodman has never worked under the RCA’s auspices and that the RCA has never had oversight on his employment. Herson said the website Chabad.org lists the Chabad centers that are authorized by his organization.

Contact James McEvoy at jmcevoy@gmnews.com.

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