A substitute Rabbi at Shaare Ezra Sephardic Synagogue Congregation on Miami Beach was arrested Thursday morning on molestation charges.
Steve Karro, 55, who is also an artist, is charged with molestation of a child under the age of 12 and lewd and lascivious conduct on a child under 16.
According to the police report, Karro touched and grabbed the buttocks of an 11-year-old girl over her clothing, while she was visiting his art gallery at 738 41st Street.
The police report said Karro also kissed the girl along her neck after sitting her on her lap. The girl got visibly nervous and rushed out of the gallery.
Karro and the girl have known each other for five years and prior to the girl running away, he gave her a small bag of candy and told the girl to not tell her mother about what had happened, according to the police report.
Police said Karro denied some of the allegations and said the reason he touched the girl on her buttocks was for a "cleansing" because she was exhibiting negative energy.
Karro bonded out of jail Thursday night. No one at the Shaare Ezra Sephardic Synagogue Congregation had any comment.
The Miami Beach Police Department wants to identify any additional potential victims. Anyone who is aware of any suspicious contact between Karro and any other juveniles is encouraged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.