A Brooklyn rabbi was arrested and charged last Thursday for allegedly trying to meet up in Queens with someone he believed to be a 14-year-old girl, to engage in sex, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
The defendant, Nathan David Rabinowich, 59, of Avenue R in Brooklyn, allegedly sent explicit online messages to what he thought would be his victim. But really it was Det. Sean Ryan of the Major Case Squad’s Vice Enforcement Division, conducting an Internet sex sting.
Rabinowich was charged with second-degree attempted rape, second-degree attempted criminal sexual act, first-degree attempted dessemination of indecent material to minors and attempted endangering the welfare of a child. If he is convicted, Rabinowich could face up to four years in prison.
“This arrest is the latest in a series of child luring cases that this office, in conjunction with the NYPD, has pursued over the years,” Brown said in announcing the charges. “It is disturbing that a man who is supposed to be held in high esteem by the community in which he lives would allegedly try to lure a child to meet him for sex. It is imperative that parents monitor their children’s online activities to protect them from the internet predators that we know are out there looking for victims.”
Rabinowich runs a synogogue and a business called Jewish Heritage Tours.
Brown said that, according to the complaint, the NYPD detective was first contacted by Rabinowich using the screen name NYCNORMAL100@aol.com on Dec. 5. He allegedly sent the detective, whom he thought was a teen girl, sexual instant messages until Dec. 22.
In their second alleged online interaction, on Feb. 4, Rabinowich used a different screen name, NORMALGENTNYC@aol.com.The defendant allegedly said he was using a new screen name because his “girlfriend” had the password to his email account and saw all of the messages between the two that were not sexual in nature and did not mention the age of the detective. Rabinowich allegedly sent the undercover graphic sexual messages on Feb. 4, 11 and 12. Then they agreed to meet. The DA’s office would not say where in Queens the meetup and arrest were made.
Rabinowich’s attorney, Israel Fried, told the Queens Chronicle the day after the arrest that it was too early to comment on the case, but issued a short statement. “He was charged with attempted rape of a person that doesn’t even exist,” Fried said. “He is presumably innocent until proven guilty in this case.”
According to Kevin Ryan, the DA’s chief spokesman, the office prosecutes 25 to 30 child luring cases each year. The workload is governed by the activities of the NYPD unit, which is sometimes assigned to handle other aspects of the human trafficking problem, he said.
Ryan added that defendants who commit such acts of child luring range in age from their twenties to their sixties, and their jobs run the gamut. Among them were an upstate police officer, a cardiologist, an MTA employee, a National Guardsman and a construction manager, showing there is no one type in particular when it comes to such cases.
A turnstile jumper turned out to be a wanted rapist who choked his victim with an extension cord, the NYPD said Wednesday. Kenny Campbell, 30, of Liverpool Street in Jamaica, allegedly raped a woman in August 2012 somewhere in South Queens. He was arrested for allegedly jumping a turnstile at the Sutphin Boulevard-Archer Avenue subway station at about 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 19 by Officer Timothy Russo, who just graduated from the police academy in January. Russo determined Campbell was an alleged rapist and he was charged with that crime — as well as theft of service for allegedly trying to skip out on the train fare.