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Former Boston-area rabbi refuses plea over sexual abuse charges

JTA

December 15, 2011 | 5:44 pm

A rabbi who taught at a Boston-area Jewish day school has refused a plea deal over sexual abuse charges.

Rabbi Stanley Z. Levitt of Philadelphia has been accused of molesting three former students at the Maimonides School in Brookline, Mass. The allegations date back to 1975-76. He was indicted in Boston two years ago.

Levitt, 65, on Wednesday rejected a plea bargain in which he had agreed to plead guilty. The rejection of the plea came at the last minute, as his accusers waited to hear his admission of guilt, the Boston Globe reported.

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Carol Ball criticized Levitt for changing his mind at the last minute, according to the newspaper.

Levitt’s attorney told the Globe that his client had agreed to the plea bargain in order to stay out of jail and to protect his health. But his client held on to his claim of innocence.

Levitt taught at the school for three years during the mid-1970s. He later moved to Philadelphia, where he was charged with molesting three boys from an Orthodox Jewish community.

A trial date has been set for May 14.

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