Rabbi Gavriel Bodenheimer, originally charged with three counts of a first-degree criminal sexual act and one count of first-degree sex abuse for alleged oral and anal sex with a 5-year-old child, pleaded guilty today to endangering the welfare of a child, which is a misdemeanor.
Above: Rabbi Gavriel Bodenheimer
Rabbi Gavriel Bodenheimer Takes No Prison Plea Deal On Abuse Charges
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
He won’t serve a day in prison.
Rabbi Gavriel Bodenheimer, originally charged with three counts of a first-degree criminal sexual act and one count of first-degree sex abuse for alleged oral and anal sex with a 5-year-old child, pleaded guilty today to endangering the welfare of a child, which is a misdemeanor, the Journal News reported.
The original charges carried a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.
Bodenheimer, principal of Yeshiva Bais Mikroh in Monsey, New York, previously turned down a plea deal that would have seen him serve some prison time. His new plea deal will see him walk away with none.
Prosecutors said the new plea deal was supported by the victim’s family in order to keep their young son, who was 7 at the time the abuse took place and who is now 12, from having to testify in open court.
The new deal calls for Bodenheimer to be sentenced to three years probation. He will also be barred from teaching or entering any school over those three years and will face other restrictions imposed on sex offenders. He will also be prohibited from having any contact with the victim.
But Bodenheimer will not be required to register as a sex offender and, as the relevant section of New York’s penal code (posted in full below) notes, a probation officer can allow an offender access to a school or other facility where students are present, as long as the school’s administrator agrees. That could mean that Bodenheimer will be allowed to enter Bais Mikroh for special occasions like graduations or to give period talks, despite what reportedly is an agreement not to allow him to so.
The boy's grandfather told the Journal News Bodenheimer's guilty plea to child endangerment proves that Bodenheimer actually did far worse than that to the victim.
"The fact he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge tells you what the crime was. It tells you he is a predator and a bum. He took away a child's innocence that can never be given back,” the grandfather reportedly said.
However, it is unlikely many in the haredi community – which distrusts secular courts and law enforcement and which regularly dismisses cases of child sex abuse as lies – will view Bodenheimer as a predator.
In court entering his plea, Bodenheimer only admitted to knowing the victim and to doing unspecified things that endangered his welfare.
The victim and his family faced frequent harassment and ostracism from the Monsey haredi community from the time of Bodenheimer's arrest onward, which likely contributed to its decision to agree to a plea deal that essentially lets Bodenheimer walk free.
New York State Penal Code Article 65 - § 65.10:
4-a. Mandatory conditions for sex offenders. (a) When imposing a
sentence of probation or conditional discharge upon a person convicted
of an offense defined in article one hundred thirty, two hundred
thirty-five or two hundred sixty-three of this chapter, or section
255.25, 255.26 or 255.27 of this chapter, and the victim of such offense
was under the age of eighteen at the time of such offense or such person
has been designated a level three sex offender pursuant to subdivision
six of section 168-l of the correction law, the court shall require, as
a mandatory condition of such sentence, that such sentenced offender
shall refrain from knowingly entering into or upon any school grounds,
as that term is defined in subdivision fourteen of section 220.00 of
this chapter, or any other facility or institution primarily used for
the care or treatment of persons under the age of eighteen while one or
more of such persons under the age of eighteen are present, provided
however, that when such sentenced offender is a registered student or
participant or an employee of such facility or institution or entity
contracting therewith or has a family member enrolled in such facility
or institution, such sentenced offender may, with the written
authorization of his or her probation officer or the court and the
superintendent or chief administrator of such facility, institution or
grounds, enter such facility, institution or upon such grounds for the
limited purposes authorized by the probation officer or the court and
superintendent or chief officer. Nothing in this subdivision shall be
construed as restricting any lawful condition of supervision that may be
imposed on such sentenced offender.
(b) When imposing a sentence of probation or conditional discharge
upon a person convicted of an offense for which registration as a sex
offender is required pursuant to subdivision two or three of section one
hundred sixty-eight-a of the correction law, and the victim of such
offense was under the age of eighteen at the time of such offense or
such person has been designated a level three sex offender pursuant to
subdivision six of section one hundred sixty-eight-l of the correction
law or the internet was used to facilitate the commission of the crime,
the court shall require, as mandatory conditions of such sentence, that
such sentenced offender be prohibited from using the internet to access
pornographic material, access a commercial social networking website,
communicate with other individuals or groups for the purpose of
promoting sexual relations with persons under the age of eighteen, and
communicate with a person under the age of eighteen when such offender
is over the age of eighteen, provided that the court may permit an
offender to use the internet to communicate with a person under the age
of eighteen when such offender is the parent of a minor child and is not
otherwise prohibited from communicating with such child. Nothing in this
subdivision shall be construed as restricting any other lawful condition
of supervision that may be imposed on such sentenced offender. As used
in this subdivision, a "commercial social networking website" shall mean
any business, organization or other entity operating a website that
permits persons under eighteen years of age to be registered users for
the purpose of establishing personal relationships with other users,
where such persons under eighteen years of age may: (i) create web pages
or profiles that provide information about themselves where such web
pages or profiles are available to the public or to other users; (ii)
engage in direct or real time communication with other users, such as a
chat room or instant messenger; and (iii) communicate with persons over
eighteen years of age; provided, however, that, for purposes of this
subdivision, a commercial social networking website shall not include a
website that permits users to engage in such other activities as are not
5. Other conditions. When imposing a sentence of probation the court
may, in addition to any conditions imposed pursuant to subdivisions two,
three and four of this section, require that the defendant comply with
any other reasonable condition as the court shall determine to be
necessary or appropriate to ameliorate the conduct which gave rise to
the offense or to prevent the incarceration of the defendant.
5-a. Other conditions for sex offenders. When imposing a sentence of
probation upon a person convicted of an offense for which registration
as a sex offender is required pursuant to subdivision two or three of
section one hundred sixty-eight-a of the correction law, in addition to
any conditions required under subdivisions two, three, four, four-a and
five of this section, the court may require that the defendant comply
with a reasonable limitation on his or her use of the internet that the
court determines to be necessary or appropriate to ameliorate the
conduct which gave rise to the offense or to protect public safety,
provided that the court shall not prohibit such sentenced offender from
using the internet in connection with education, lawful employment or
search for lawful employment.