Convictions for 3 rabbis for forced divorces upheld by court

Source: Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal appeals court Friday upheld the convictions of three Orthodox rabbis for their roles in a ring that used brutal tactics to force unwilling Jewish men to divorce their wives.

A three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed arguments by the rabbis that the convictions should be overturned on a number of grounds, including the right to religious freedom.

Rabbis Mendel Epstein, Jay Goldstein and Binyamin Stimler were convicted in 2015 on charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Epstein, 70, lives in Lakewood, New Jersey, while Goldstein, 61, and Stimler, 41, are from Brooklyn.

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