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Rabbi Arrested on Sex Charges

April 7, 2001

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) _ A father who was angry that his 16-year-old son had been solicited for sex over the Internet helped police capture a suspect by posing online as another teen-ager.

He was surprised to learn that the man accused of contacting his son was a respected associate rabbi at a local synagogue.

Jerald M. Levy, 58, was arrested Thursday and charged with soliciting sex from a minor online after he arrived to meet a sheriff’s deputy posing as a teen-ager, investigators said. He was being held on $10,000 bond.

Levy’s attorney, Edward Shohat, denied the accusations.

``We intend to vigorously defend this and plead not guilty,″ he said.

The father said he began to communicate with someone using the online screen name ``CoachBoca,″ after ``CoachBoca″ sent his son sexually explicit e-mails.

The father said he began posing online as a teen-ager named Jimmy and exchanged e-mails with ``CoachBoca,″ who described himself as a high school teacher, counselor and coach. Investigators later learned the screen name ``CoachBoca″ was registered to Levy’s wife.

The chats between ``CoachBoca″ and ``Jimmy″ soon turned to sex, according to an arrest affidavit. Authorities later took over as ``Jimmy,″ and told ``CoachBoca″ the boy was 14.

They later set up the meeting where police arrested Levy.

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