Federal agents today arrested a Monsey-based rabbi on accusations that he had sex with a female relative over the course of a decade, starting when she was 9 years old.
FBI agents arrested Rabbi Israel Weingarten, 58, at his Monsey home this morning on a grand jury indictment, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn.
Weingarten is charged with five federal counts, accusing him of traveling around the world to have sex with the minor and avoid being charged.
The indictment charges him with two counts of knowingly and intentionally transporting a minor in foreign commerce with the intent to engage in a sexual activity. He also is charged with three counts of knowingly and intentionally traveling in foreign commerce for the purpose of engaging in a sexual act with a minor.
If convicted at trial, Weingarten faces an estimated prison term of 168 to 210 months in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Weingarten is accused of abusing the young girl on a weekly and sometimes daily basis in Belgium, Israel and the United States, according to documents filed with the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.
The girl left her family and the Satmar Hasidic Jewish community in September 1999, when she was 18 years old, federal documents state.
Weingarten is accused of trying to kidnap her in 1999 from a family trying to protect her in England, according to the documents. He’s accused of assaulting that rabbi and his wife, who were trying to protect the girl.
Weingarten, a married father of eight, teaches children for the Satmar Hasidic Jewish community, the documents said. He ran a Satmar school in Belgium and worked for religious elementary and secondary schools in Brooklyn.