By David Foster (The Trentonian)
April 21, 2017
Menachem Chinn’s wife, Ruth, recalls the day well.
She said Friday in a phone interview with The Trentonian that the boy had a leg cramp on the day in question in 2012.
“He was screaming, withering in pain,” Ruth Chinn said of the incident that occurred at the couple’s East Windsor home. “What do you do if the kid is withering in pain with knots in his muscle on his leg? You don’t help him?”
The wife said the boy was in the basement with a bunch of kids for her husband’s youth programming when the incident occurred. She’s unsure if her husband massaged the boy’s leg, but implied he worked the cramp out.
“When you have a cramp, you pick up the toes and you get that muscle, and you undo a knot,” she said. “It’s on the bottom of your foot. Nowhere near anything private.”
But on Thursday, Menachem A. Chinn, 36, was charged with sexually assaulting the boy at his home in 2012, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office said Friday in a press release.
Menachem Chinn is a teacher at the Shalom Torah Academy in the Morganville section of Marlboro Township and instructs math to sixth and seventh grade boys, the school’s website states. The rabbi is also a director at NCSY, a Jewish youth organization.
Prosecutors say East Windsor police were recently made aware of the allegations against Chinn. A joint investigation with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Special Victims Unit was conducted and uncovered that the teacher allegedly inappropriately touched the victim once in 2012.
Prosecutors did not indicate if the boy was a student at Shalom Torah Academy.
His wife called the charges “ridiculous.”
“My husband’s been helping all along,” Ruth Chinn said. “The mother has been relying on my husband all along to help raise this kid. It’s crazy. It makes no sense.”
Defending her husband, Chinn claimed the boy and his mother, who live down the block from them in the Twin Rivers section of East Windsor, are “extremely troubled.”
“She used to walk him to my door as a teenager, pass him over to me for responsibility and then I wasn’t allowed to leave the house until she came back for him or we had to walk him home,” Ruth Chinn said. “That’s not a normal behavior for a teenager, a spiteful child.”
Ruth Chinn said the boy’s mother was also the kind of person that if she handed her son a pen and, by mistake, it touches his hand, then it “touched him inappropriately.”
“We live in a world today where not everyone’s mind is corrupt,” Ruth Chinn said. “If I touched his finger, it doesn’t mean nothing in the world. It’s a sick thing to happen to a good teacher.”
As a teacher and youth director for the past 18 years, Menachem Chinn has had “hundreds, if not close to 1,000 kids” at his home on Saturdays for youth programming.
“Every single parent has unlimited praises to say of him,” Ruth Chinn said of her husband. “There was never an issue — never ever. We were so careful even in our own house to keep the boys and girls separate ... We were so careful with this and this is why.”
The activities would occur on Saturday afternoon with youth games in the basement, such as air hockey and foosball, and board games upstairs, Ruth Chinn said.
“My house is in and out regularly with kids, always coming at their own free will,” the wife said, noting they have six children of their own. “My husband’s been there for all the kids, all the time. I complain that’s too much, not fair to my kids.”
Menachem Chinn is charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child and one count of sexual assault.
A secretary at Shalom Torah Academy said Friday afternoon around 3 p.m. that all the administrators had left for the day. She said no one was available to comment on the charges.
Menachem Chinn, who lives on the 100 block of Bennington Drive, was sent to Mercer County Correction Center until Wednesday, his wife said, when he is scheduled to have a detention hearing.
Authorities said the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Mercer County Prosecutor’s Detective Alicia Bergondo at 609-989-6568 or East Windsor Police Detective Thomas Meyer at 609-448-5678.