East Brunswick Rabbi Accused of Prostitution
By Suzanne Russell
February 19, 2018
|Rabbi Aryeh Goodman|
An East Brunswick rabbi, who previously served time for inappropriately touching a young boy, is now accused of having sex with a 17-year-old Lancaster, Pennsylvania, girl.
The rabbi and two people from the Bronx, New York, are facing charges related to human trafficking and prostitution, officials said.
Rabbi Aryeh Goodman, 35, is charged with one count of engaging in prostitution with a child and one count of endangering the welfare of a child, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey and East Brunswick Police Chief James Conroy said in a release late Sunday.
Goodman was performing in a religious capacity at a Jewish religious center out of his East Brunswick home and may have affiliation with another center on Lexington Avenue in East Brunswick Township. Goodman and his center are not affiliated with the Chabad Lubavitch movement.
Accompanied by his attorney, Goodman turned himself in to authorities at the East Brunswick Police Department on Feb. 6, the release said.
An investigation indicated that the rabbi allegedly engaged in sexual relations with the 17-year-old girl at an East Brunswick hotel Feb. 1.
This isn't the first time the rabbi has faced criminal charges. In 2013 Goodman, was accused of inappropriately touching a boy at a youth camp in Pennsylvania in 2001 where he worked as a counselor and was charged with 12 counts of indecent assault.
Pennsylvania court records show Goodman was convicted of two counts of indecent assault of a child under age 13 and in October 2015 was sentenced to up to two years in prison by Judge Gregory Chelak. The remaining charges were dismissed.
A Jewish Community Watch report said Goodman also was required to register as a sex offender. As part of his parole, he is restricted from working or visiting places where children are known to congregate.
A MyCentralJersey.com story on the 2013 arrest indicated that Goodman was director of Chabad of East Brunswick, and runs community service, women, children, holiday and faith-based programs out of a Lexington Downs Shopping Center storefront on Lexington Avenue.
In a statement Monday, the Rabbinical College of America said the worldwide Chabad movement is represented in New Jersey by the Rabbinical College of America (Morristown) and its affiliates.
"Rabbi Goodman has never worked under the RCA’s auspices and the RCA has never had oversight on his employment," the statement said. "On Chabad.org, one can find a list of authorized Chabad centers, which include neither Rabbi Goodman’s organization nor the organization at Rutgers which originally hired him."
"The Chabad House of Rutgers has not affiliation with the individual charged nor any knowledge of the incident in question," according to a spokesperson for the Chabad House of Rutgers.
A phone message left for Goodman was not immediately returned.
|Gabriella Colon (Photo: ~Courtesy of Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office)|
In addition to charges filed against Goodman, Gabriella Colon, 18, and Richard Ortiz, 23, both of the Bronx, have been charged with 11 criminal counts. Colon and Ortiz are accused of human trafficking, conspiracy to commit human trafficking, promoting prostitution of a child, conspiracy to promote prostitution of a child, endangering the welfare of a child, criminal restraint and a number of child pornography offenses including the manufacturing, distribution and possession of pornography, according to the prosecutor's office.
Colon and Ortiz were arrested at a Fort Lee motel Feb. 16. Both are being held at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center in North Brunswick pending a detention hearing, according to Carey.
|Richard Ortiz (Photo: ~Courtesy of Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office)|
According to the investigation, Colon and Ortiz allegedly sold the sexual services of the teen girl to about 30 men between Jan. 1 and Feb. 2 at an East Brunswick hotel.
A spokesperson for the prosecutor's office said no one else has been arrested and the name of the hotel is not being released.
The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to contact East Brunswick Detectives Chris Farrace or Dan Unkel at 732-390-6900, or Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office Detective Mark Morris at 732-745-4194.
Staff Writer Suzanne Russell: 732-565-7335; email@example.com