Judge: Monsey sex offender Moishe Turner violated probation

By Steve Lieberman (Lohud.com)
December 13, 2013

A state judge has found a Monsey sex offender violated portions of his probation, opening the door for a jail or prison sentence on a felony charge.

Moishe Turner, 60, failed to notify his probation officer about a car he was driving and had entered a Viznitz Hasidic girl’s school which was being used for a wedding on July 25, state Supreme Court Justice William Kelly found.

Kelly, however, dismissed a probation charge that Turner violated an order of protection prohibiting him from being within 500 feet of his victim. Turner was invited to the wedding and the young man was there helping out, but there was no evidence he came into contact with Turner.

Kelly scheduled sentencing on the probation violations for Jan. 7. Turner could be jailed or allowed to serve out his 10-year probation.

District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said his office will likely recommend jail time but no final decision had been made. Prosecutors want jail time.

Turner’s lawyers, Kenneth Gribetz and Deborah Wolikow-Loewenberg, will ask Kelly to maintain probation. Gribetz called the charges technical violations, noting school buildings in the Hasidic community are used for weddings and Turner didn’t know the young man was at the celebration.

“We’re hopeful the judge will extend his probation rather than send this man to prison or jail,” Gribetz said.

Turner was sentenced to 10 years probation on his Jan. 18 guilty plea to second-degree criminal sex act, which could have brought him seven years in prison. He admitted to having sex with the 14-year-old boy seven times in July 2011.