Divided Panel Rules ‘Seduction’ Claims Against Rabbi Are Barred by N.Y. Law

Daniel Wise writes:

A woman has no claims against a Rockland County, N.Y., rabbi who she alleges counseled her to have sex with him as a way of overcoming her problems in finding a husband, a divided Appellate Division, 1st Department, ruled Thursday.

The woman, Adina Marmelstein, asserts in Marmelstein v. Kehillat New Hempstead, 117629/05, that, as a result of the counseling, she and Orthodox Rabbi Mordecai Tendler had sexual relations for five years ending in 2005 after the rabbi had abused her emotionally and physically.

In a 3-2 ruling, the 1st Department dismissed the two remaining claims against Tendler as being barred by a state statute that specifically rules out a cause of action for seduction.

…In her lawsuit, according to the majority opinion written by Justice Joseph P. Sullivan, Marmelstein averred that Tendler had advised her to have sex with him so that her "life will open up and men will come to her." She also claimed the rabbi had told her "he was as close to God as anyone could get" and having sex with him would be "her only hope."

Bilaam’s Donkey writes FailedMessiah: "For public policy reasons, courts ANYWHERE in the U.S. do not interfere in consensual sexual relations, for ANY profession. It’s not just rabbis, or religion in general. Had the seducer been a psychiatrist, the result would have been the same. You might not like the result — but the opposite result would be much worse, as it would effectively give courts the power to rule and sanction our most intimate relationships, and the slippery slope would be very, very dangerous."

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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