BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — A prominent rabbi is under arrest, charged with sexually abusing a girl multiple times in Baltimore County.
Police say he was taken into custody at the airport just before getting on a plane out of the country.
Rick Ritter spoke with people who worked with the rabbi.
The rabbi’s co-workers say they’re saddened by the allegations. Detectives were notified about the alleged incident just a few weeks ago and say the victim was sexually abused by the rabbi over an undisclosed period of time.
Rabbi Frederick Karp calls himself a comedian; police call him a sexual predator. Karp, a rabbi from Ohio, is now at the center of a child molestation case.
On New Year’s Eve, Baltimore County police were approached with allegations that a young girl in Baltimore County was sexually abused by Karp.
Shortly after, detectives traveled to Cleveland to interview the 50-year-old. But when they went to arrest him, he was nowhere to be found.
Police say the rabbi was later taken into custody at JFK Airport on a fugitive warrant issued by authorities in Maryland.
“He was taken into custody without incident,” said Cpl. John Wachter, Baltimore County Police Department.
Charging documents obtained by WJZ show the rabbi faces charges of perverted sexual practice, sexual abuse of a minor and second and third degree sex offense.
Detectives say so far in the investigation there’s no reason to believe that any of the alleged abuse occurred at a Jewish facility in the Baltimore area.
According to reports, Karp was in Baltimore in 2013 for a conference with the Association of Jewish Chaplains.
“The good news is that we’re having our awakening moment of sorts and that we’re really waking up and recognizing this is an enormous problem,” said Adam Rosenburg, Baltimore Child Abuse Center.
And the ongoing issue of sexual abuse–heartbreaking incidents typically involving the people families trust most with their children.
“Ninety percent of abuses occurred is caused by someone who the family knows and trusts,” said Rosenberg. “I think as a parent, you need to ask tough questions, you need to be able to say, ‘How do I know my kid is safe?'”
Police aren’t releasing any other information on when the alleged abuse occurred, where, or for how long.
Rabbi Karp is awaiting extradition to Maryland. Police are not releasing details on exactly when and where in Baltimore County the abuse allegedly occurred.