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Nassau Hebrew Academy Rabbi Sexually Abused Student, Cops Say
A 56-year-old rabbi has been accused of sexually abusing a student at a Hebrew Academy of Nassau County school where he was a religious teacher before his termination three years ago, Nassau County police said.
Gary Lieberman of Far Rockaway will be arraigned Friday at First District Court in Hempstead on two counts of first-degree sexual abuse from incidents stemming from Nov. 4, 2009 through May 2010, police said.
Detectives said Lieberman allegedly sexually abused a 10-year-old student student twice at the Hempstead Avenue school, first in a learning resource room on the second floor of the building and a second time inside a school restroom. A police spokesman said the department was not identifying the school by name to protect the victim.
“Lieberman told the victim that if he tells anyone about this they would not believe him because he is a rabbi,” police said in a news release.
The chairman of the Board of the Education of the Hebrew Academy notified police about the alleged sexual abuse, police said.
“There was an allegation regarding an incident which allegedly occurred years ago which was recently brought to our attention regarding a teacher that has not worked at the school for several years,” Robert H. Shelly. executive director of the Hebrew Academy said in a statement. “The school was proactive in reporting the allegation to the police and we are continuing to cooperate with their investigation.”
Lieberman was terminated in August 2010, but he may have continued teaching at other private religious schools, police said. It’s unclear if his termination was related to any inappropriate behavior. Shelly did not say why Lieberman was terminated.
The rabbi was arrested Thursday at his house, police said.
Detectives ask anyone who may have been victimized to call the Special Victims Squad at 516-573-4011.