Prominent NYC Rabbi Charged with Producing Child Porn

On Saturday, New York officials arrested Rabbi Jonathan Skolnick on charges of child enticement, production, receipt, and possession of child pornography. He was also charged with sending extortionate communications. The FBI also have reason to believe that he has more victims than they are currently aware of.

Skolnick was a rabbi and associate principal at prominent New York City private school, SAR Academy. However, he greatly abused his positions and preyed on children. He even went as far as pretending to be a teenage girl on the internet, convincing a young teenage boy to send nude, explicit photos.

According to U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman, “As an associate principal of a Bronx private school, one of Jonathan Skolnick’s primary responsibilities was the well-being and education of students. Instead, Skolnick allegedly preyed on his underage victims in a heinous plot to fool them into sending him nude photos of themselves.”

“Skolnick allegedly falsely identified himself as several different teenage girls – and when his victims refused to continue to send more photos,” Berman continued, “he unconscionably threatened to publicly release the ones they had already sent. This arrest exemplifies law enforcement’s ability to detect those attempting to use the ‘anonymity’ of the internet to prey on young children.”

NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill added, “Today’s charges serve as a warning to individuals who prey upon some of our society’s most vulnerable population – you will be arrested and held accountable for your actions. I thank the NYPD detectives, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District, and the FBI for their work in this investigation. The NYPD will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to end the exploitation and abuse of children in our city and nation and work to bring justice to victims of these heinous crimes.”

NBC New York reports:

The alleged victim cut off communication in June, but in September, authorities allege, Skolnick began sending “increasingly threatening” messages, which were traced to his Bronx home.

He faces a laundry list of charges related to the production and possession of child pornography, with potential penalties of up to 30 years in prison.

The school fired Skolnick, where he had worked with Grades 6-8 for the last 14 months, after learning of his arrest.

“We have reason to be concerned that SAR students may have been victims or potential victims and we are asking you to share any information you have with law enforcement as they continue to conduct their investigation,” SAR Principal Rabbi Binyamin Krauss wrote in a letter to parents and faculty Monday.

“Despite the practices in place to protect our children, we are not immune to breaches such as the one that seems to have taken place at SAR. When such a breach occurs, we must and do address it swiftly and directly, cooperate with law enforcement fully, and communicate with transparency. It is my commitment on behalf of the school to make sure that we will continue to do all of that in this case,” Krauss added.