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Trial Set for Rabbi Facing Sex Abuse Charges

Trial delayed after rabbi reportedly suffered a stroke

Bergen County courthouse
Bergen County courthouse

The trial of a 65-year-old Teaneck rabbi accused of molesting two teen boys is set to begin in January after the alleged abuser was reportedly hospitalized earlier this month, according to the county prosecutor’s office.

Rabbi Uzi Rivlin is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 13, 2014, a Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office spokeswoman said. Rivlin suffered a stroke and was in a medically-induced coma at Holy Name Medical Center, his attorney said at a hearing last month, NorthJersey.com reported. A doctor at the hospital reportedly confirmed Rivlin was unable to walk and talk, forcing the trial to be delayed. 

The rabbi was arrested in 2011 and accused of sexually abusing two Israeli boys who were staying with him as part of scholarship program he helped create, prosecutors said. He faces charges of aggravated sexual contact, criminal sexual contact and child endangerment.

Prosecutors alleged the two boys stayed with Rivlin in 2009 and 2010 and made abuse allegations to police in Israel, who notified the FBI. A joint investigation by Teaneck police and the prosecutor’s special victims unit led to the arrest.

Defense attorney Howard Simmons has maintained his client’s innocence and said one the alleged victim made false abuse claims in the past against his own father. Rivlin pleaded not guilty in August 2011.

Simmons could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday night.

The rabbi has been free on bail, according to county jail records.

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