Feds Hit Brooklyn Rabbi With Child Porn Charges
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Feds Hit Brooklyn Rabbi With Child Porn Charges

A rabbi identified as a teacher at an unnamed girl's seminary on Brooklyn has been charged with distributing child pronography via the Internet, a federal offense.

Samuel Waldman, 52, was arrested Wednesday at his Kensington, Brooklyn home by agents of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit, according to Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, who announced the arrest and will prosecute the case.

Rabbi Waldman appeared Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge James L. Cott in Manhattan federal court and was released on $10,0000 bond. He faces one count of transporting or distributing child pornography, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

“Samuel Waldman’s position of trust in the community, as both a rabbi and a teacher, makes his alleged distribution of child pornography all the more disturbing," said Bharara in a statement. "As we have said repeatedly, we have zero tolerance for the exploitation of children and we will prosecute and punish those who engage in this conduct.”

ICE HSI Special Agent-in-Charge James T. Hayes, Jr. said the arrest was made through the agency's Operation Caireen, which targets people who abuse positions of trust by committing crimes of sexual exploitation against children.

The criminal complaint against Rabbi Waldman alleges that "about November 2013, he distributed child pornography over the Internet by making available for downloading through file-sharing software multiple videos depicting minors engaged in sexual acts."

Speaking to the New York Post Wednesday night, Waldman, who says he works as a real edstate broker and teaches only part time, denied the charges. “[It’s] false, specifically the way they are describing the distribution and dissemination,” he said. “It’s absolutely being misconstrued completely, 100 percent, and we will fight that to the end.”

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