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California Rabbi Arrested on Multiple Felony Child Sexual Abuse Charges

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Last week, Santa Monica, California police arrested Rabbi Sholom Doyber Levitansky on multiple felony charges of child sexual abuse.

Police are seeking further information and are attempting to locate any additional abuse victims, the Santa Monica Daily Press (SMDP) reports.

Charges brought against Levitansky by Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office include five counts of oral copulation of a person under 18 years of age, five counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object, and one count of lewd act upon a child, according to SMDP. Levitanksy lives in Sherman Oaks.

Levitansky reportedly met his victims when he worked at Chabad’s Living Torah Center in Santa Monica. The center is an Orthodox Jewish synagogue and education facility on Wilshire Boulevard near 12th Street. The abuse allegedly occurred between 1998 and 2002. Levitansky was in his twenties at the time and his victims were 15 and 16 years old, SMDP reports.

The Santa Monica Police Department asks victims or anyone with additional information about abuse incidents to contact Detective Roy Brown at 310-458-8960, Sgt. William Heric at 310-458-8453 or the Watch Commander at 310-458-8427.

Suspected child sexual abuse presents particular problems in the Orthodox Jewish community. Orthodox Jewish communities hold themselves apart from the secular community and culture and are suspicious of nonreligious authorities. Community members are encouraged to keep abuse allegations within the community in order to avoid the “shame” of public exposure. Victims are supposed to bring their accusations to rabbinical courts, but these courts often do not punish perpetrators, even in the face of compelling evidence, and rabbinical courts frequently obstruct efforts to bring suspected abuse to the attention of secular law enforcement. Victims are pressured not to report abuse to police and prosecutors and those who have come forward have faced ostracism and retaliation within the Orthodox community. disclaimer: This article: California Rabbi Arrested on Multiple Felony Child Sexual Abuse Charges was posted on Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 at 1:30 pm at and is filed under Uncategorized.

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