Thursday, July 07, 2005

Rabbi David Lipman out on bond facing sexual child molestation charges after turning himself in 5 weeks after he disappeared in Prescott AZ

1 Comments:

At 3:33 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

Courtesy of the Awareness Center Yahoo group.

http://prescottdailycourier.1upsoftware.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=36397

Thursday, July 07, 2005

7/7/2005 5:00:00 AM

Facing sex abuse charges, former rabbi is out on bond after turning himself in

By MIRSADA BURIC-ADAM
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT – Five weeks after a judge issued a warrant for his arrest in connection with a sexual abuse investigation involving minors, David Lipman, a 55-year-old former rabbi of Temple B'rith Shalom in Prescott, turned himself in to the authorities and is now out of jail on a bond.

Lipman's attorney, Billy Hicks, said on Wednesday that his client turned himself in to the court a week ago and at that time he appeared before Justice of the Peace Arthur Markham, who initially signed the warrant for his arrest.

"I went to court with him and we turned him in to the court," he said. "At that time the judge set a bond of $200,000 and later that day he bonded out" of the jail.

Prior to the judge issuing a warrant for Lipman's arrest, the Yavapai County Attorney's Office filed a complaint alleging 11 counts of child molestation and five counts of sexual abuse that stem from an investigation that involved two girls, 16 and 14.

Prescott Police Det. Robert Peoples said previously that all the charges in the complaint stem from the allegations of inappropriate touching that the older girl reported to authorities because those incidents allegedly happened in Arizona.

Police received a call from a Child Protective Services employee on May 13 who reported the possible sexual abuse of the two girls, Peoples said.

That information prompted a criminal investigation against Lipman, which apparently revealed that the alleged abuse had been going on for about six to eight years, he said.

"The abuse started with back massages, then Lipman would move his hands to her buttocks, breasts and (private parts)," a PPD report states. "She recalls the touching being under her clothes rather than over her
clothes."

When police went to talk to Lipman at his office at the Temple, "he admitted to inappropriate touching," Peoples said.

"I confronted him about the allegations and what the girl told me and he told me 'the girls are very honest and they don't lie. If they said that it happened, then it happened.'"

In the wake of the allegations, the congregation placed Lipman on administrative leave on May 23 and then, four days later, after the county attorney filed an official complaint with charges against Lipman, it severed his employment relationship with the temple completely.

Mark Drutz, a member of the congregation and a lawyer with the Musgrove Drutz & Kack law firm who is representing the temple regarding Lipman's situation, said, "As of May 27, we terminated and rescinded the employment contracts with the rabbi.

"We made the decision that was in the best of interest of Temple B'rith Shalom to terminate the employment relationship based upon these facts which had come to light," Drutz added.

He said the congregation is going to use interim rabbis until it hires a permanent rabbi and is now working with the United Reform congregation group in Los Angeles.

He said he doesn't believe that the pervious rabbi, William "Billy" Berkowitz, whom Lipman replaced in April 2002, is interested in a full-time position as a rabbi.

"I think he has done a life change but he has been very gracious and has filled in for certain events," Drutz said.

After his dismissal from the Temple, Lipman's wife reported him missing on May 24 after she had not heard from him for a few
days.

Hicks said he doesn't know where his client was prior to deciding to turn himself in to the authorities.

Contact the reporter at
mburicadam@prescottaz.com

 

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