Did Miami Beach rabbi accused of molesting girl try to pay off alleged victim’s mother?

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Newly released surveillance video shows a Miami Beach rabbi accused of molesting an 11-year-old girl giving the girl’s mother an envelope that is believed to contain money.

The mother turned the envelope from Rabbi Steve Karro over to Miami Beach police, Miami’s Local10 reported Monday. The envelope contained at least $500 in cash, the television station said, citing sources. The mother claimed the rabbi was trying to buy her silence.

The video is dated May 19, a week before Karro was arrested. The alleged molestation at an art gallery owned by Karro took place in April.

Karro, 55, was arrested in May and earlier this month was released to house arrest. He is not allowed to come into contact with children and is required to wear a GPS monitor.

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The Russia-born Karro, who was raised in Jerusalem, is a substitute rabbi at the Shaare Ezra Sephardic Synagogue Congregation on Miami Beach.

The family’s attorney, Jeff Herman, told the local media that the family has been kicked out of the synagogue since the rabbi was accused of molesting the girl. Members of the Jewish community have tried to convince the family to drop the charges, Herman said.

Karro is accused of placing the girl on his lap and kissing her on the neck, then touching her bottom. He has said that there was nothing improper in how he kissed and hugged the girl, whom he reportedly asked not to tell about the encounter.

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