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Orthodox rabbis charged in religious divorce plot


NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Federal authorities in New Jersey say four Orthodox Jewish rabbis and one of their sons have been indicted on charges they conspired to kidnap and force Jewish men into granting their wives religious divorces.

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman says a grand jury handed up the indictment on Thursday in New Jersey. Several of the defendants were among a larger group previously charged.

Rabbi Mendel Epstein and his son, David Epstein, both of Lakewood, New Jersey, Rabbi Martin Wolmark of Monsey, New York, and Rabbis Jay Goldstein and Binyamin Stimler, both of Brooklyn, New York, are charged with kidnapping conspiracy and related charges.

Attorneys for Goldstein, Wolmark and Stimler say their clients deny the charges.

Messages left for attorneys representing Mendel Epstein and David Epstein were not immediately returned.