Judge grants probation for child-molesting rabbi
A day after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting young boys, a rabbi that taught in Brookline walked out of Suffolk Superior Court and will not see any jail time.
Rabbi Stanley Levitt, 66, pleaded guilty Wednesday to four counts of indecent assault and battery on a child. Judge Geraldine Hines sentenced him on Thursday to 10 years of probation with certain conditions.
“He got a slap on the wrist. He should have served jail time,” said Natalie Brecher, the 76-year-old mother of one of Levitt’s victim’s.
Brecher was in court for Thursday’s sentencing hearing during which her son Michael spoke.
“Mr. Levitt’s abuse wrecked havoc in my life,” he said. “I’ve suffered from severe depression, wanting … to die. I feel dead inside.”
Prosecutors requested that Levitt serve 2 ½ years in jail. However, as his defense attorney Scott Curtis argued, a deal was in place months ago that Levitt would only get probation.
Prosecutors and Levitt agreed to a plea agreement in December, which would have allowed him to get only probation. However, Levitt changed his mind and moved forward to seek a jury trial. That trial was set to begin with jury selection Wednesday when Levitt changed his mind again.
“We don’t punish people for insisting their right for a fair trial,” Hines said. “I feel obligated to honor that (earlier agreement). I don’t’ have to, but I haven’t been given any reason not to.”
Levitt worked at the Maimonides School in Brookline as an instructor. During his time there he abused three sixth grade boys in the 1970s.
Levitt studied in Brooklyn, N.Y. and after working in Brookline he went to work in other cities in Maine, Connecticut and in Philadelphia where he was also accused of assaulting three boys.
Levitt was acquitted in one of those cases, in another the victim could not see the case through and the charges were dropped and he pleaded no contest in the third case and was ordered to five years of probation.
Civil suit possibility
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who has represented multiple victims of sexual abuse including the initial victims of the Catholic priests in and around Boston, represents two of Levitt’s victims.
Garabedian said he has not yet filed any civil action, but he is investigating and my sue Levitt, his supervisors and the Brookline school where he taught.
“There’s no telling how many kids have been assaulted by Stanley Levitt,” he said.