Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Mendel Epstein sentenced to 10 years in jail for forcing men to give a Get

NJ.COM    A prominent Lakewood rabbi convicted of helping to arrange the kidnapping of Orthodox Jewish men who refused to grant their wives religious divorces was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday.

The sentence for Rabbi Mendel Epstein, 70, is less than what the federal government had requested for a man prosecutors said was the head of a well-organized operation that kidnapped and beat men. But it also was more than what his defense attorney argued was deserving of a man who devoted his life to good deeds and charitable acts.

The sentence was one, though, that U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson said was necessary to deter others in the Orthodox Jewish community from continuing what federal prosecutors called "paid vigilantism."

"No one is permitted to commit acts of violence against another," Wolfson said during the three-hour sentencing proceeding in Trenton. "It is not the law of our society and what we live under."

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