Lakewood rabbi’s son wasn’t involved in forced divorce, executive testifies


By MaryAnn Spoto | NJ Advance Media for
on March 26, 2015

TRENTON —The son of a Lakewood rabbi accused of arranging the beatings of men who wouldn’t give their wives religious divorces was in a meeting in Ohio when one of the attacks occurred, a business associate told jurors in an ongoing federal kidnapping and conspiracy trial.

The testimony of Greg Emmer, vice president and chief marketing officer for Kaeser & Blair Inc., was offered Thursday as an alibi for David “Ari” Epstein, who is accused of participating in the Aug. 22, 2011, attack on a Brooklyn man who would not give his wife a religious divorce.

That man, Usher Chaimowitz, eventually agreed to the divorce after hours of beatings. Chaimowitz’s roommate, Menachem Teitelbaum, who was also beaten in the attack, testified earlier in the trial that he heard one of the assailants yell, “Epstein, call your father.”

Federal prosecutors contend the reference was to David Epstein and his father, Mendel Epstein, a prominent Lakewood rabbi who specializes in divorce proceedings. The father and son, along with rabbis Binyamin Stimler and Jay Goldstein, are on trial on kidnapping and conspiracy charges that grew out of a federal sting.

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