April 9, 2010
Rabbi accused of rape
A rabbi in Arizona has been extradited to New York on charges that he raped a 7-year-old girl while he was a student at the Conservative movement’s main rabbinical school.
The rabbi, Bryan Bramly, was arrested March 23 by U.S. marshals and New York detectives in Arizona. He was charged with two counts of rape in an incident that allegedly occurred a decade ago. He pleaded not guilty and was released on $10,000 bail on March 26.
Bramley, 35, has been the rabbi of Temple Beth Sholom of the East Valley in Chandler, Ariz., a suburb of Phoenix, since 2006. His attorney, Alan Lewis, denied that the alleged rape took place. “It never happened,” Lewis told the Forward.
The alleged victim, now 17, filed a report with police in August of last year. The complaint against Bramly alleges that he hit the victim and then had intercourse with her. Lewis said that Bramly passed a polygraph test that clears him of the charges. The rabbi, who is due in court on June 22, has relinquished his passport.
The alleged incident occurred in March 2000, when he was a first-year rabbinical student at JTS, in an apartment leased by the seminary for married students. Bramly lived there at the time with his wife and two children, a daughter and a son.
According to the Forward, Lewis said that the alleged victim and Bramly’s daughter had been friendly since preschool, and the two families were close and saw each other often.
Lewis said that the alleged victim and her mother visited the Bramly home in Arizona last June, one of many visits the families have made over the years. Bryan Bramly was away, Lewis said, but the alleged victim and her mother told Bramly’s wife and daughter about her memory of the rape.
Lewis said that Bramly had not been contacted by authorities investigating the incident.