A Brooklyn man accused of helping members of a Jewish “cult” kidnap two kids who had escaped the religious sect with their frightened mother will be released from prison pending trial, a judge said Tuesday, the NY Post reports.
White Plains federal Judge Paul Davison ordered Williamsburg resident Aron Rosner released on $10 million bail — despite prosecutors’ claims that he financed the kids’ abduction and even lent their kidnappers a van to pull off the dirty deed.
Online reports claiming that Rosner was not released were false.
Rosner, 45, was jailed in December after Manhattan federal prosecutors charged him and three other men with kidnapping two children in an effort to return them to the fanatical Lev Tahor sect in Guatemala, known for child brides and burqa-like clothing for women.
The children’s mother, Sara Helbrans, has said she escaped the “cult” after her then-13-year-old daughter was ordered to marry the adult son of a community leader.
Helbrans was granted custody of the kids by a Brooklyn court on Nov. 14 — a month before the men allegedly tried to ferry the children out of the country dressed in secular clothes, including a Superman hat, to escape the attention of law enforcement.
Prosecutors say Rosner acted as the financier to the sordid operation, which he allegedly joined after a group of Lev Tahor men, including his younger brother Mayer Rosner, arrived in NYC from Guatemala looking to get the children back.
Davison granted Rosner bail based in part on his strong ties to Brooklyn, where he lives with six of his nine children. “Unlike the other defendants, he is a lifelong resident, he has strong family and community ties. He has no criminal history,” the judge said before granting his release on a $10 million bail package that will put nine of Rosner’s friends and family on the hook financially if he flees. Rosner was also ordered to home detention with GPS monitoring at the Brooklyn residence.
Read more at the Post.