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A rabbi accused of molesting a girl on Miami Beach has accepted a plea deal.
The victim's mother made her case in court. "On Apr. 16, 2015, Rabbi Karro took my daughter, touched and squeezed her buttocks, placed her on his lap, took off her glasses, touched her hair, told her how pretty she was, rubbed her thighs and kissed her up and down her neck," she told the judge.
The State looked at the case thoroughly, but said there was not enough evidence to take it to trial and convict Rabbi Steve Karro for lewd and lascivious molestation. Karro will now face a charge of misdemeanor battery and nine months of probation, against the wishes of the alleged victim's mother. "This rabbi should be ashamed," she told the judge.
An 11-year-old girl had alleged that Karro molested her at his art gallery on 41st Street in late May. Karro was arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious molestation and denied any wrongdoing.
After bonding out of jail on May 28, Karro said he did nothing wrong. "Very simple: It's love, harmony, cleansing, nothing else. There was nothing there inappropriate, nothing that I had violated anybody's right."
However, the victim's mother disagreed. "There is no cleansing, no love or harmony that could possibly result in this crime," she said.
Besides the probation, he is to stay away from minors. However, he is not required to register as a sex offender. "Steve Karro has not been required to register as a sex offender," said the child's mother. "No one from our community or any community will have the chance to protect their children," she said. "Where is the justice? Where is my daughter's testimony heard? Where is my daughter's protection?"
The child's mother and her attorney said that Karro allegedly attempted to pay money in exchange for silence. She also said the sentence will only put other children in danger. "It's not a matter of if he would so something like this again. It's a matter of when and where," she said.
Karro's attorney had words for the media after the sentence. "To be destroyed with sensational coverage when the man is innocent," said the attorney.