by Steve Lieberman (lohud.com)
October 25, 2011
The police investigation led to Turner's arrest last week on seven felony counts of second-degree criminal sex act and one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child.
Ramapo Police Detective Sgt. Brian Corbett said Monday that the investigation found the sexual activities occurred across Ramapo and in Spring Valley.
He said Ramapo detectives kept the case because the alleged crimes started in the town's jurisdiction.
"At this point in our investigation, we think there may have been more victims," Corbett said.
Turner was ordered held in the county jail in New City on $75,000 bail set during his arraignment on the charges in Spring Valley Justice Court. He is to return to court on Thursday, according to his attorney, Kenneth Gribetz.
Gribetz on Monday evening maintained his client's innocence.
"We want to state, without commenting further, that Mr. Turner intends to enter a plea of not guilty and that we intend to litigate this matter in court," Gribetz said.
A felony hearing will be held on the charges and on the setting of bail. The hearing could be adjourned and the case moved to criminal court in New City if the case is presented to a Rockland grand jury and an indictment is returned this week.
While Turner calls himself a rabbi, Corbett said police have no definitive information on his rabbinical status.
Rabbi Noson Leiter said Turner might have been educated in yeshiva but he doesn't lead a congregation and isn't a religious leader in the community. Leiter is a member of Torah Jews for Decency in Monsey.
Leiter said Turner has "misused the term rabbi to cover himself for unspeakable, egregious acts."
"The Orthodox and Hasidic community response to his arrest was very positive," Leiter said, adding Turner has been in the community for some time and religious leaders were helpful.
"We're obliged to uproot these people in our midst," Leiter said, "and make sure they don't harm others in the community or outside the community."