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Mother claims Jewish community shutting her out amid rabbi molestation allegations

Steve Karro accused of touching 11-year-old girl's buttocks

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The mother of an 11-year-old girl who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a Miami Beach rabbi said she's being ostracized by members of the congregation after coming forward to police.

"I'm just so hurt, and my daughter and I are just trying to repair and move forward," the mother told Local 10 News.

The woman said she's already being mistreated following Karro's arrest last month.

"I should pull you out by your hair out of the synagogue. Why are you here?" the woman said people have told her.

Police said Karro used both hands to touch and grab the girl's buttocks at his Miami Beach art studio, kissing her neck and then instructing her not to say anything.

"Think about a child who comes home to you very scared (saying,) 'Mom, I have something to tell you,'" the woman said. "And she tells you of such a horrible experience (about) a person that you looked up to as a father figure."

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

Those who know Karro, who is a substitute rabbi at Shaare Ezra Sephardic Congregation, said they were in disbelief after the arrest.

"I didn't believe it," Daniel Lannettone said.

The woman said she and her daughter have been shunned and shut out by the Jewish community in Miami Beach.

"In the beginning, they told me I had to say something," she said. "But now, I'm told by the rabbis not to say a word -- keep silent. Meanwhile, this community already decided I'm making up the story. Our words are nothing."

The mother claims Karro offered her $500 to buy her silence and drop the charges.

Follow Shyann Malone on Twitter @ShyannMalone

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