“They Have No Idea What We're Going Through”: Mother on Being Shunned After Accusing Rabbi of Molestation

The mother of a girl who claims she was molested by a rabbi says she is being shunned by her Orthodox Jewish community on Miami Beach because she reported the alleged crime.

"I think they're garbage, they're disgusting... they have no idea what we're going through," she said about the people who suggest she's making up the story.

The mother, who does not want to be identified, said "As soon as I walked in with my daughter and a friend they started moaning, they started speaking, 'you have a lot of nerve to be here, I should pull you out by your hair out of the synagogue, why you're here.'"

The story is swirling around Steve Karro, a rabbi at the Shaare Ezra Sephardic Synagogue Congregation on Arthur Godfrey Road.

He's accused of intentionally touching the 11-year-old girl on her buttocks, over her clothing, then sitting her on his lap and kissing her neck -- a charge Karro's wife denied.

"He never kissed her on the neck," said Janet Karro. She defends her husband, saying he stroked the girl's back for cleansing, spiritual purposes.

The alleged incident happened inside Karro's Miami Beach art gallery on 41st Street this past April.

Daniel Iannettone, who owns the business next to Karro's gallery, also questions the allegations.

"He has been nothing but a gentleman and a person who has stood for what I think the Jewish community stood for in this area," Iannettone said.

But new questions arose after grainy surveillance video surfaced showing the rabbi handing the girl's mother an envelope that contained money. But her lawyer, Jeffrey Herman, refuses to call it hush money. "I can't comment, I can't characterize it, we will leave that for the authorities," he said.

Karro was released from jail on June 10. He is on house arrest, is not allowed to contact children in any way, and is required to wear a GPS monitor.

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