Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Arrest Of Brooklyn Rabbi For Distributing Child Pornography

US Attorney's Office
March 5, 2014

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and James T. Hayes, Jr., the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (“ICE”) Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), announced today the arrest of SAMUEL WALDMAN for distributing child pornography. WALDMAN, 52, a rabbi and a teacher at a girl’s seminary, was arrested by HSI agents this morning at his residence in Brooklyn, New York. He was presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge James L. Cott in Manhattan federal court.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “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. 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: “Distributing child pornography is a serious crime made all the more disturbing when committed by an individual who has been implicitly entrusted as an educator. Through Operation Caireen, HSI New York and our partners will target individuals who abuse their positions of trust in our communities by committing crimes of sexual exploitation against children.”

According to the allegations in the criminal Complaint filed today in Manhattan federal court, in or about November 2013, WALDMAN distributed child pornography over the Internet by making available for downloading through file-sharing software multiple videos depicting minors engaged in sexual acts.

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WALDMAN is charged with one count of transporting or distributing child pornography, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of ICE HSI. He added that the investigation is continuing.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Egan is in charge of the prosecution.

The charge contained in the Complaint is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

ICE HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.