Above: Rabbi Fredrick Martin “Ephraim” Karp
Haredi Rabbi Charged With Child Sex Abuse Sees Bail Reduced From $5 Million
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Rabbi Fredrick Martin “Ephraim” Karp’s bail is no longer set at $5 million dollars, the Baltimore Sun reported tonight. At a hearing today, Towson, Maryland District Court Judge Leo Ryan Jr. reduced Karp’s bail to $500,000 and ordered that he turn in his passport.
Prosecutor Lisa Dever had asked that Karp be held with no bail, saying he was a flight risk and that her office has "a strong case" against him.
Karp’s lawyer Marc Zayon told the court that Karp is not a flight risk – something the judge may not agree with, especially because Karp was arrested January in JFK International Airport in New York City as he was waiting to board a flight to Israel. However, Zayon gave the court invoices that he said show Karp and his wife had been planning the "rabbinical trip” to Israel since September.
"He had no idea that an arrest warrant was pending. He wasn't running from these charges,” Zaydon said.
Police had interviewed Karp in Cleveland about the alleged abuse only days before he left for Israel. When they returned to arrest him, he was gone. The convention of Jewish chaplains Karp was going to Israel to attend wasn’t scheduled to start for more than a week after Karp’s flight.
Karp, who lives and works in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, allegedly repeatedly sexually abused a girl, who now 12-years-old, since she was seven. Karp was reportedly a friend of the girl's parents and would visit them occasionally in Maryland and while there, would allegedly sexually abuse the girl.
Karp reportedly appeared at the bail review hearing today via video hookup from the Baltimore County Detention Center wearing an orange jumpsuit. He reportedly kept his head bowed for most of the proceeding.
Karp has been suspended from his job at the Menorah Park Center for Senior Living in Beachwood, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, Menorah Park spokeswoman Beth Silver told the Baltimore Sun. He was president of Neshama, the national organization of Jewish chaplains whose convention in Jerusalem Karp was on his way to when he was arrested. A new president was elected at that convention, the Cleveland Jewish News reported today.