Rape Charge Dropped against Chandler Rabbi

By Mike Sakal
The Tribune
September 15, 2010

A charge of first-degree rape against a Chandler rabbi who served at Temple Beth Sholom of the East Valley was dismissed on Wednesday in the New York State Supreme Court.

Rabbi Bryan Bramly, 40, was charged in March in connection to allegedly molesting a 7-year-old girl at his home in New York 10 years ago when he was working on his rabbinical studies.

After a months-long investigation, Bramly was arrested by officers from the U.S. Marshal Office's Child Predator Team and the New York Police Department's Child Abuse Unit in the parking lot of Temple Beth Sholom, 3400 N. Dobson Road, Chandler in August, 2009.

Initially, the girl's accusations against Bramly were deemed credible by authorities and they moved forward with his arrest and extradition to New York.

However, as court hearings progressed, the girl, now 17, was having trouble recalling events from 10 years ago, and Bramly passed a lie detector test administered by a retired FBI polygraph expert, according to information from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office and Bramly's attorneys.

There also were inconsistencies in the girl's story that led prosecutors to conclude they could not prove their case in court, according to Bramly's attorneys, Alan Lewis and Michael Shapiro.

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office then made a motion to dismiss the case, and it was granted on Wednesday, according to Erin Duggan, a spokeswoman for that office.

In a statement issued by his attorneys, Bramly said, "My wife, children and I are happy and relieved that this nightmare is over and we look forward to the return of some normalcy in our lives. However, these baseless allegations against me have left us in financial peril, traumatized my family, has torn my congregation apart and led my synagogue's board to request my resignation. I would not wish this situation on anyone, but as I have learned in the course of this ordeal, unfortunately false allegations of sexual abuse are all too common."

Bramly had served as the rabbi at Temple Beth Sholom for two years at the time of his arrest, and soon after being charged with the crime, he was asked to resign from the synagogue.

Bramly did not resign. He has a six-year contract with Temple Beth Sholom that runs into 2014 and was getting paid during his time off, his attorneys said.

Bramly also sometimes wrote "Clergy Corner" columns for the Tribune's Spiritual Life section.

It was not immediately known whether Temple Beth Sholom plans to retain Bramly.

No one could be reached at Temple Beth Sholom on Wednesday for comment.


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