Rabbi Gary Lieberman sexually abused a 10-year-old student at Hebrew Academy of Nassau County when he was a teacher there, police said Friday.
The abuse allegedly took place at the yeshiva’s lower school campus in West Hempstead between between November, 2009 and May 2010. The rabbi, who lives in Far Rockaway, was fired from the yeshiva for unspecified reasons in the summer of 2010.
“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,” said its executive director, Bob Shelley, in a statement emailed to The Jewish Week Friday.
The same message was sent to parents.
“The school was proactive in reporting the allegation to the police and we are continuing to cooperate with their investigation. We have been asked not to comment any further.”
Rabbi Lieberman faces two counts of felony sexual assault and was to be arraigned Friday at First District Court in Hempstead.
“According to detectives, Gary Lieberman ... sexually abused his student who was 10 years of age at the time of occurrence,” the Nassau County Police Department said in a statement. “ This incident occurred in a learning resource room on the second floor, where the victim and defendant would be alone Additional inappropriate conduct occurred inside the restroom of the school. Lieberman told the victim that if he tells anyone about this they would not believe him because he is a rabbi.”
Lieberman’s lawyer, Alexander Novak, could not be reached for comment in time for publication, but told WCBS-TV, ““Serious allegations. We’ll seriously look into them.”
The statement said the Nassau County Special Victims Squad was alerted to the alleged abuse by the chairman of the Board of Education of the yeshiva. “Subsequent investigation led to the arrest of the defendant on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013 at his residence. Lieberman’s employment at the Hebrew Academy was terminated on August 31, 2010, although the defendant may have continued teaching at other private religious schools.”
Anyone with information useful to the investigation can contact the Special Victims Squad at (516) 573-4022.
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