NEW CITY – Rockland Rabbi Moshe Menachem Taubenfeld’s daughter took the stand for the defense Wednesday in his sex-abuse trial.
Taubenfeld’s daughter broke down in tears as she described how her mother and brother were killed by a Hamas suicide bomber on a bus in Jerusalem in 2003. She was also on board, but survived the attacked.
After the tragedy in which Taubenfeld lost his wife and child, children were reportedly no longer allowed at the rabbi’s home.
During Wednesday’s testimony, the rabbi’s daughter confirmed that her father knew Laiby Stern, who has testified that the rabbi molested him after Stern sought counsel from the rabbi in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Stern, now 22, claims that the abuse occurred for five years.
The testimony that Taubenfeld knew Stern contradicts a police interrogation video in which Taubenfeld denied knowing Stern.
The defense plans to rest by the end of the week. It is unclear whether Taubenfeld will take the stand.
If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.