Prosecution rests in rabbi's sexual assault trial

Hudson Valley News 12
July 17, 2015

NEW CITY - The prosecution finished presenting its case Friday in the sexual molestation trial of a prominent Rockland County rabbi.

Laiby Stern, who wants to be identified, told the judge that Rabbi Moshe Taubenfeld sexually molested him when he went for counseling after the Sept. 11. attacks. Stern, now 22, claims the abuse carried on for five years.

He told the court that the rabbi gave him $20 as hush money after each alleged assault.

Taubenfeld has been described as one of the "most powerful men" in one of the most religious communities in America.

During cross-examination, Taubenfeld's lawyer, Gerard Damiani, tried to show that Stern was not telling the truth. He also tried to get Stern to say he was coached in his testimony by victims' advocates. Stern denied the allegation.

The rabbi's defense in the nonjury trial will begin on Monday at the New City courthouse.