Table of Contents:
- Legal Document (04/01/2011)
- Rabbi charged with groping passenger on Delta flight (04/15/2011)
- Rabbi accused in flight grope case (04/15/2011)
- Rabbi who is married and the father of 11 kids on trial for allegedly molesting Israeli Army officer (05/04/2011)
- Orthodox rabbi Gavriel Bidany found guilty of molesting female Israeli Army officer on flight (05/05/2011)
- Rabbi and Father of 11 on Trial for Molesting IDF Officer (05/05/2011)
- Rabbi 'grab-bi' (05/05/2011)
- Orthodox rabbi convicted of molesting female Israeli soldier on flight to New York (05/06/2011)
- Rabbi gets 60 days in prison for trans-Atlantic jetliner grope (05/11/2011)
- Gavriel Bidany, rabbi convicted of molesting sleeping Israeli soldier on plane, gets 60 days in jail (05/12/2011)
- Israeli rabbi jailed for fondling sleeping woman on plane (05/12/2011)
- Rabbi who groped Israeli soldier sentenced to jail (05/13/2011)
|Rabbi Gavriel Bidany - Convicted Sex Offender|
Brooklyn Magistrate Ramon Reyes considered numerous letters written on behalf of Gavriel Bidany, but when it came time for the rabbi to speak for himself on Thursday, he sat in stony silence.
"Rabbi Bidany committed a serious crime, touching a young sleeping woman on her private parts," Reyes said. "Such conduct cannot be tolerated."
The judge also praised the 23-year-old victim, a lieutenant in charge of a missile defense unit, for having the courage to come forward about the assault last month on a transatlantic Delta flight from Israel.
Bidany, 48, a marriage counselor, faced up to six months in prison for the misdemeanor crime of sexual touching without consent. He was found guilty last week by Reyes after a two-day bench trial in Brooklyn Federal Court.
The victim, whose name is being withheld by The Daily News, testified that she was sleeping in the seat next to Bidany who had covered himself with a blanket.
She awoke to find him fondling her groin area. Then he assaulted her a second time, groping her breast. When she confronted him, he claimed he was sleeping.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David Sarratt noted that the victim looks younger than her age and suggested Bidany "selected her because she wouldn't have the courage to report the attack."
In a letter to the judge, the victim called Bidany a "coward" who does not deserve the admiration of the people who spoke up for him.
Bidany, married and the father of 11 children, had submitted letters to the court from two sons and a daughter who feared his incarceration would jeopardize their matchmaking and marriage prospects.
"I think it's a very heavy sentence," defense lawyer Saul Bienenfeld said after the rabbi was remanded to begin serving the jail time.
By Aman Ali
Reuters - May 12, 2013
A Orthodox Jewish rabbi and father of 11 was sentenced to 60 days in prison on Thursday for groping his sleeping female seatmate, an Israeli soldier, aboard a transatlantic flight.
Gavriel Bidany, 48, an Israeli citizen, remained silent in federal court in Brooklyn as a Hebrew interpreter informed him of the punishment meted out by Judge Ramon Reyes.
"He is a well respected man and a well valued person in his community," the judge said. "That said, the need for the sentence imposed is great because this is a serious offense."
Bidany was convicted of fondling a 23-year-old lieutenant in the Israeli Army. She testified against him in court earlier this month.
The victim did not appear at the sentencing but issued a statement saying she expected more from Bidany considering he's an Orthodox rabbi.
"Whatever was taken away from me cannot be returned," she said. "This cannot be learned any other way. A burn leaves a scar that cannot be removed."
According to court documents, Bidany was on a Delta Airlines flight from Tel Aviv, Israel to John F. Kennedy airport in New York in March, seated next to the woman. Bidany placed a blanket over his head, appearing to fall sleep, and that's when the victim decided to place a blanket over herself too and sleep, the court documents said.
About 30 minutes later, the victim woke up to find Bidany groping her genital area and jumped back before the rabbi pulled his hands back, the documents said. The victim then placed the blanket back over herself before Bidany tried to grope her again, this time reaching for her breasts.
When the woman questioned the rabbi about what he was doing, the rabbi replied, "It's a mistake, I'm asleep," the documents said.
She immediately reported the incident to a flight attendant, leading to Bidany's arrest.
Many of Bidany's 11 children wrote letters to the judge pleading for his release and about a dozen of the rabbi's friends appeared in court at the sentencing and said they valued his for his spiritual counseling.
(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Greg McCune)
By Jennifer Lippman
Jewish Chronicle - May 13, 2011
The rabbi who was convicted of groping a female IDF officer on a flight to New York will spend two months behind bars.
Father-of-11 Gavriel Bidany was arrested after the woman, 23, accused him of touching her underneath her airline blanket without her consent.
Last week a court heard that she was sleeping and woke to find him fondling her groin area and groping her breast. When she confronted him, he claimed he was sleeping.
Yesterday Bidany was sentenced to 60 days in a federal prison.
In his defence Bidany claimed that he never touched the woman. But the prosecution said her account of events was "wholly believable" and he was convicted of assault.
Assistant US Attorney David Sarratt said that Bidany's conduct was shocking not least because he chose a victim who appeared "much younger" than her age.
According to the New York Post the victim gave a statement which was read by the prosecutor. In it, she said: "I lost, in a most human way, my most precious thing - my innocence."
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