New Jersey rabbi, a youth group director, charged with sexual assault of 12-year-old boy


(JTA) — A Jewish teacher and youth group director is being held in central New Jersey for the alleged sexual assault of a 12-year-old boy.

Rabbi Menachem Chinn was arrested April 18 and charged with assaulting the boy at the teacher’s home in Marlboro in 2012. A judge ordered that Chinn remain in custody following an April 26 detention hearing held in Mercer County Superior Court.

Chinn is a teacher at Shalom Torah Academy in Morganville, New Jersey, and director of the Twin Rivers chapter of the National Council of Synagogue Youth, the New Jersey Jewish News reported.

Chinn is charged with one count each of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

NCSY, the youth movement affiliated with the Orthodox Union, immediately placed Chinn on leave pending the results of the investigation, NJJN reported. In a statement, NCSY wrote that it was “shocked” to learn of the arrest.

“The safety and well-being of NCSY participants is the organization’s utmost priority at all times,” according to the statement. “NCSY has zero tolerance whatsoever for improper or illegal behavior. Toward that end, NCSY maintains robust policies and procedures for its entire staff, including appropriate behavioral standards, criminal background checks, and an ombudsmen hotline that is checked multiple times daily, and extensive staff training. Any and all complaints are thoroughly investigated by seasoned professionals, who at all times are prepared to refer matters to the criminal justice system.”

NCSY said it had not been aware of any complaints against Chinn, who had been with the organization for 15 years. Parents of youth group members were notified of his arrest, an OU spokesperson told NJJN, and an interim adviser was to be appointed in his place. NCSY will hold an event May 4 for local parents and youth to discuss the situation.

NCSY adopted strict standards of conduct in the wake of the 2000 scandal involving Rabbi Baruch Lanner, the former principal at Hillel Yeshiva High School in Deal, New Jersey, and later the New Jersey regional NCSY director. Lanner was convicted in 2002 of molesting two girls at the high school and served three years of a seven-year sentence beginning in 2005. He was released on parole in 2008.

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