Ultra-Orthodox Jewish divorce

Lakewood, New Jersey rabbis face prison in kidnapping conspiracy conviction

Published by carolyn on Wed, 2017-07-19 23:19

Rabbi Mendel Epstein, left, arrives for his trial at federal court in Trenton, N.J., on Feb. 18, 2015. (Mel Evans/AP)

By Carolyn Yeager

RABBI MENDEL EPSTEIN, ALONG WITH RABBIS JAY GOLDSTEIN AND BINYAMIN STIMLER, this week lost their appeal in which they argued they were engaged in their religious practice when they plotted to kidnap and torture their Jewish client's husband. From the Washington Post's July 19 story:

The holy man’s words were blunt, the subtlety and pretext all peeled off. “What we are going to be doing is kidnapping a guy for a couple of hours and beating him up and torturing him and then getting him to give you the get,” Rabbi Mendel Epstein told his two visitors.

“We take an electric cattle prod,” the bearded man continued later in the conversation on Aug. 14, 2013, according to court documents. “If it can get a bull that weighs five tons to move … You put it on certain parts of his body and in one minute the guy will know.”