A rabbi and a former Judaic studies teacher in Westchester County, N.Y., has been arrested and charged with receiving and possessing child pornography.
Lyle Kamlet, 62, is alleged to have purchased illegal DVDs over the Internet and to have had them mailed to Westchester Day School, a co-ed Modern Orthodox school in Mamaroneck, N.Y., where he worked for some three decades.
Kamlet resigned his post at WDS — a preschool, elementary and middle school — in February 2012.
On Monday, Head of School Joshua Lookstein, together with the board’s president and chairman, emailed parents to inform them of Kamlet’s arrest. “As far as we know, during his tenure, the school had no information and had received no complaints concerning his involvement in any illegal activities,” the letter stated. “Since his resignation, Westchester Day School has not provided any references or recommendations for Kamlet.”
Kamlet was detained Friday, and charged with two counts of receipt and possession of child pornography.
“We are going to vigorously contest these charges in court,” Kamlet’s lawyer, James Roth, told The Journal News. Officials at WDS said they have been cooperating with federal authorities since April 2013. At the request of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, they agreed not to share information about the case until Kamlet’s arrest became public because “we did not believe that any of our current students were at risk,” the letter to parents stated.
Friday’s arrest is linked to a 2011 raid of a Canadian production company, where DVDs containing child pornography were seized. Authorities also confiscated the customer database, which allegedly showed Kamlet to have purchased some 23 DVDs from the company between 2008 and 2010.
Law enforcement seached Kamlet’s Mount Vernon, N.Y., home in May 2013, and found several DVDs that show nude boys between the ages of 10 and 14 wrestling, boxing and doing gymnastics, as well bathing and showering, according to court papers. He allegedly told officials that he purchased videos from the production company that had been raided, and described the content of the DVDs as his personal “sexual preference.”
In addition, multiple 8 mm home videos of boys showering and dressing in locker rooms were found at his residence, the documents show.