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Miami Beach rabbi released on house arrest in child molestation case

Steve Karro posts $50,000 bond

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A Miami Beach rabbi accused of child molestation was released on house arrest Wednesday after posting a $50,000 bond.

Miami-Dade County Judge set Steve Karro's bond on Tuesday and set restrictions for the well-known rabbi, who is accused of molesting an 11-year old girl. Karro will remain on house arrest and wear a monitoring device.

Miranda also told Karro not to contact his alleged victim and not to have any unsupervised interaction with children.

"He's very strong. He knows he is innocent of any wrongdoing," said Karro's attorney, Jeff Weiner, who added that he and prosecutors agreed that Karro should be released.

Karro was originally arrested May 28 and released from jail because of a mistake police made in listing the charges. Prosecutors noticed the mistake and asked that Karro be re-arrested.

"It's very easy to make accusations, but the key thing is there is a presumption of innocence in this country and that's got to be honored," Weiner said of the charges against Karro.

Karro is facing one count of lewd and lascivious molestation on a child less than 12; and one count of lewd and lascivious conduct on a child under 16.

"I know him. I know him for many years," said a woman who didn't want to be identified, but was in court with more than a dozen others there to support Karro. "He's a good man. He didn't do anything wrong."

Police allege Karro used both his hands to touch and grab the buttocks of an 11-year-old girl at his Miami Beach art store along 41th Street, which is down the street from the Shaare Ezra Sephardic Congregation, where he is a substitute rabbi.

Karro kissed the girl on the neck while the girl was sitting on his lap, police said. As she left the store, Karro told her not to say anything and gave her a bag of candy, police said.

When he was initially released from jail, Karro told Local 10 News he never touched the girl inappropriately and thinks the girl's mother is behind it.

Karro said somebody was "dictating her how to act, how to say, what to say."

The rabbi said a mother's "jealousy" is the reason for the allegations.

"If they don't have their ways, they will hunt you down all the way," Karro said.

When arrested, Karro told police he touched the girl in her behind for "cleansing" purposes because she was showing negative energy.

"I think when all the facts come out this case is going to be resolved in a way that is favorable to the rabbi, who enjoys an impeccable reputation with literally hundreds of families through many, many, many years," Weiner said.

Karro feels he'll be vindicated.

"They will know the truth soon," Karro said.

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