New sex abuse charges surface against rabbi

New sexual abuse charges against a Loudonville rabbi surfaced last week as Jews internationally observed Yom Kippur on Thursday, Oct. 9.

A lawyer representing the rabbi said the accusers purposely waited to come forward with allegations of Rabbi Yaakov Weiss' alleged sexual misconduct until the evenings before the two major holidays in the Jewish religion. The first allegation was brought against Weiss on Monday, Sept. 29 the eve of the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah. Yom Kippur is known in English as day of atonement."

Weiss is now facing a number of misdemeanor sexual abuse charges, including four counts of endangering the welfare of a child, two counts of sex abuse in the third degree, two counts of sex abuse in the second degree, according to Detective James Miller of the Albany Police Department, who characterized the alleged incidents as "inappropriate sexual contact."

"This charge was supposed to be brought up last week when he [Weiss] was in court, but I guess, apparently, the alleged victim wasn't there," said Arnold Proskin, Weiss' attorney.

Weiss is a 28-year-old rabbi and the founder of the Chabad of Colonie and Chabad Hebrew School. He is a practicing Jew of Chabad-Lubavitch.

Proskin said the charges are being brought against Weiss from two separate 13-year-old boys from "within the same tribe," and that the second accuser's allegations stem from an incident that allegedly occurred in June 2007. The initial charges stem from an incident that allegedly took place last month.

Proskin said the fact that the second allegation comes more than a year after the alleged sexual misconduct occurred is one of many peculiar aspects of the case.

In a statement sent by Weiss to Spotlight Newspapers, he said, "Let me state unequivocally: This accusation is 100 percent untrue, baseless, and a complete and utter fabrication."

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