Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Baruch Lebovits Pleads Guilty to Molestation

Baruch Lebovits, a once prominent cantor in Brooklyn pleaded guilty on Friday to molesting a teenage boy, according to The New York Times.

Lebovits received a sentence of two years, but will likely serve only a few months in city jail. The arrangement will allow him to count 13 months served in jail under a previous conviction for the same charge towards his sentence.

Lebovits was sentenced in 2010 to serve between 10.5 and 32 years in prison for eight counts of molestation. But, according to the Times, “An appeals court overturned the conviction and authorized his release, ruling that he had been deprived of a fair trial because prosecutors took too long before turning over a detective’s notes about a key witness.”

Prosecutors recently offered Lebovits four to 12 years. Last week, Lebovits’s council sent a memorandum to the State Supreme Court arguing for a lighter sentence, citing the sentences in similar cases. The prosecution offered two to six years, and the judge settled on two.

“It’s a tremendous relief that justice has finally been done,” said Lebovits’ lawyer Arthur Aidala, according to the Daily News.

However, survivors of sexual abuse were quick to denounce the decision. Ben Hirsch, a co-founder of Survivors For Justice, said the ruling shouldn’t be the court’s final word, telling the Daily News: “There’s more than enough blame to go around for the disintegration of the case. We hope DA Thompson pursues an investigation into how this case was destroyed.”

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.