MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) — The mother of an 11-year-old who has accused a South Florida rabbi of inappropriately touching her is speaking out, saying she has been shunned by the Jewish community and has even received bribes to stay quiet.
The mother, who chose to remain anonymous, said the bribes are all in an effort to keep her silent regarding Rabbi Steve Karro. Karro has been accused of molesting her daughter at his Miami Beach art studio. “God forbid if you can just close your eyes and think about a child who comes home to you very scared and says, ‘Mom, I have something to tell you,'” she said. “I know that I have to stand up for my daughter and for this community, maybe for the voices that are scared to speak out. I’m here for you.”
Karro was arrested in late May, accused of kissing the girl on the neck and touching her backside.
Several days before Karro was arrested and after the alleged molestation, surveillance video taken from a Miami Beach restaurant appears to show him, according to the mother and her attorney, standing next to her and handing her an envelope. “He showed up at her place of work with an envelope,” said the mother’s attorney, Jeff Herman. “I can’t talk about what he said or what transpired there, other than to say that that envelope was taken by the mother to the authorities where it was opened, and there was money in that envelope.”
After the arrest, the mother said, the Jewish community has turned their backs on her and her family, going as far as to threaten her inside a synagogue. “I went to the synagogue to listen to a woman’s class, and as soon as I walked in with my daughter and a friend, they started moaning, they started speaking, ‘You have a lot of nerve to be here. I should pull you out by your hair out of the synagogue. Why are you here?'” she said.
According to Herman, the mother also received a phone call by a second rabbi who offered her and her family money to keep quiet. “The rabbi told her, it’s not too late, you can tell them you’re not interested, and stop it and receive money,” he said.
After a news conference outside of the art gallery, Karro’s supporters had their voices heard. “I think he’s a great guy,” said one woman.
“I’m standing right now for my daughter and for the rest of this community to speak and come out,” said the mother, “not to be scared.”
The mother was originally reluctant to speak out on the issue, but said she found it to be her duty to come forward and give others the courage to tell the truth if found in similar situations.
Karro and his attorney did not comment.