Rabbi Weiss pleads not guilty; lawyer hopes to avoid trial – Cleveland Jewish News

Posted By on July 10, 2022

Rabbi Stephen Weiss pleaded not guilty to three charges at his arraignment July 1, and his attorney said hes hoping to resolve the case prior to trial.

Weiss was previously indicted by a Cuyahoga County grand jury on June 16. He was arrested April 18 after allegedly engaging in explicit online conversations with an undercover investigator posing as a 15-year-old boy.

His arraignment was scheduled for July 11, but was moved up to July 1 on the day before, according to Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas records. Weiss attorney, Michael Goldberg of The Goldberg Law Firm in Cleveland, said he moved up the date to quicker obtain the discovery, or evidence the state shares with the defense.

We are working very hard on putting his case forward, his side of things, and well see if we cant resolve this without having to go to trial, Goldberg told the Cleveland Jewish News July 7. Im hoping we can.

Weiss is charged with one count of attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, one count of importuning and one count of possessing criminal tools.

Weiss was senior rabbi at Bnai Jeshurun Congregation in Pepper Pike. He was suspended April 19 and resigned April 21. Bnai Jeshurun completed its own investigation last month, finding no evidence Weiss engaged in illegal, illicit activity within its congregation.

Court records showed he posted a $50,000 bond April 19. According to the court docket, as a condition of his jail release, he is required to wear a GPS standard monitoring device and to have no contact with any victims.

Goldberg filed a motion July 5 to amend his bond to terminate the GPS monitoring detention. According to court records, Goldberg argued since Weiss has no prior criminal history, has not violated conditions of the bond, and as his phone was seized and completely analyzed and where no evidence of any other illegal activity was located, removing the GPS restriction would allow him to help care for his 90-year-old father.

Additionally, Goldberg wrote, Prior to this incident, Mr. Weiss was the leader of a Cleveland area synagogue. As a result of this matter, Mr. Weiss has resigned his position to concentrate on dealing with the present matter and to maintaining his family through this difficult time. Being released from home arrest would allow him to do that without requiring 48 hours advanced notice to go anywhere. Mr. Weiss presents absolutely no risk of flight or a threat to the community.

The judge has asked the prosecutor to respond to the request, Goldberg said.

The counts Weiss is facing together carry a maximum of 3 years in prison, Lexi Giering, communications specialist for the prosecutors office, previously told the CJN.

Judge Emily Hagan was assigned to the case.

Evidence from the states case was shared with the defense, according to the court records, which included a CD/DVD interview, telephone records, search warrant and inventory, statements, social media chat history on Grindr and Wickr Me, and witnesses the state planned to call.

Goldberg said the case is set for court in a week or two.

Right now, its very standard you filed your discovery, you get whatever there is we dont have everything yet and its going to take a couple weeks at this point to figure out where its going to go, Goldberg said.

This is a developing story.


Rabbi Weiss pleads not guilty; lawyer hopes to avoid trial - Cleveland Jewish News

Related Post


Comments are closed.