Mother of girl molested claims Miami Beach rabbi tried to buy her silence

Attorney for family of girl says 'they've been ostracized' by Jewish community

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A South Florida rabbi who is already in trouble for allegedly touching an 11-year old girl inappropriately is back in the spotlight after new surveillance video surfaced.

The video shows Miami Beach rabbi Steve Karro handing the victim's mother an envelope said to contain at least $500 in cash, according to sources.

The victim's mother claims the money was an attempt to buy her silence and drop the case. The woman said she took the envelope and gave it to Miami Beach police.

Her attorney, Jeff Herman, said the family has been targeted and even kicked out of the synagogue ever since coming forward with the claims.

"This family has been attacked by members of the Jewish community," Herman said. "They've been ostracized by some people."

The alleged payoff for silence was captured days before the rabbi's actual arrest.

Police said Karro used both hands to touch and grab the buttocks of an 11-year-old girl at his Miami beach art studio, kissing her neck and then instructing her not to say anything.

Karro denied those claims, telling police he hugged and kissed the child as he does with anyone else. He also admitted to police that he did touch her butt, but for "cleansing" purposes, because she had a negative energy.

Miami Beach police declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.

Karro is out of jail with an ankle monitoring device. He told Local 10 News the money was for something else, insisting the victim's mother knew what it was for and is only targeting him for personal gain.

The rabbi said he wanted to tell the whole story but was advised by his legal counsel to remain quiet until the investigation is over.

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About the Author:

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.