The director of Chabad of East Brunswick, arrested on child molestation charges that allegedly occurred almost 12 years earlier while he was a counselor at a Chabad camp in Pennsylvania, acknowledged his behavior in a phone call with his accuser, police say.
Rabbi Aryeh Goodman, 30, was taken to the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center by the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Department on Jan. 7 and is awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania.
The criminal complaint against Goodman, obtained by NJJN, was signed by Trooper Sandra Vanluvender out of the Blooming Grove barracks of the Pennsylvania State Police. It alleges several counts of indecent assault on a person less than 13 years of age, police spokesperson Trooper Adam Reed told NJJN.
The barracks is in Pike County, where the assault on the boy is alleged to have occurred at Camp Menachem in Lackawaxen Township in the summer of 2001.
The Pike County Magistrate’s Office, which is handling the case, provided an affidavit of probable cause, signed by Magisterial District Judge J.R. Rose. The office said the affidavit is the first step in the arrest process.
The complaint said that in May 2012, the alleged victim — identified as D.H. — approached police in Brooklyn, NY, with allegations of “indecent contact” in 2001, when D.H. was 12 years old.
On Oct. 19, a detective from the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn recorded a phone conversation between D.H. and Goodman.
According to the complaint, during the phone conversation Goodman acknowledged that he touched D.H. inappropriately, saying “he thinks about the incidents a lot and is embarrassed by what happened.”
The report also quotes Goodman as saying that “an apology is not enough.” It continues: “Goodman repeatedly stated that he was sorry for hurting the victim and he did things to the victim that should have never happened to someone that age.”
When asked by D.H. why he did it, Goodman replied he didn’t know.
Goodman grew up in Highland Park. Chabad of East Brunswick is affiliated with Chabad House-Lubavitch Inc. at Rutgers University. It is not part of the Lubavitch World Headquarters in Brooklyn, which is represented in New Jersey by the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown and its affiliates.
Attempts to reach family members and obtain comment were unsuccessful.