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Miami Beach Rabbi Takes Plea in Fondling of Girl

A Miami Beach rabbi who was arrested on suspicion that he molested an 11-year-old girl at his art gallery is facing a misdemeanor charge after accepting a plea deal.

Rabbi Steve Karro now faces a charge of misdemeanor battery and nine months of probation, WSVN-TV in Miami Beach reported Thursday. Karro was accused of placing the child on his lap in April, kissing her on the neck and touching her bottom.

A substitute rabbi at the Shaare Ezra Sephardic Synagogue Congregation, Karro had faced charges for alleged lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under 12, and lewd and lascivious conduct on a child under 16.

Prosecutors reportedly offered the plea deal after an investigation determined there was not enough evidence to bring the case to trial. The offer was made against the wishes of the child’s mother, according to WSVN.

In June, Karro was captured on video attempting to bribe the mother with a cash-filled envelope.

Karro, a native of Russia who was raised in Jerusalem, opened the Karro International Fine Art gallery three years ago. Its website says the South Florida gallery specializes in Judaic art paintings and that Karro studied art at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. His biography says he graduated from Yeshiva College as a rabbi and a scribe in 1979.

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