A former rabbi from East Brunswick and a Bronx, New York, man have been sentenced for their respective roles in a 2018 scheme in which a minor was advertised and provided for commercial sex acts.
Aryeh Goodman, 37, of East Brunswick, was sentenced on Aug. 28 to 18 months in prison. He previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson to an information charging him with interstate travel in aid of a racketeering enterprise.
Richard Ortiz, 24, aka Ace, of the Bronx, was sentenced on Aug. 27 to 96 months in prison. He previously pleaded guilty before Wolfson to an information charging him with conspiracy to commit the sex trafficking of a child.
Wolfson imposed both sentences in Trenton federal court, according to information provided by U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, from January to February 2018, Ortiz and his codefendant, Gabriella Colon, recruited, enticed and advertised a girl younger than 18 to engage in one or more commercial sex acts. Ortiz previously acknowledged having transported the victim from New York into New Jersey and collecting money from numerous individuals who paid to have sexual relations with her. Goodman previously admitted answering an online advertisement that depicted the girl and presented her for various sexual acts. Goodman, a previously convicted sex-offender, acknowledged travelling to the East Brunswick motel where she was located and paying Ortiz and Colon so he could engage in sexual activities with her, according to the statement.
In addition to the prison terms, Wolfson sentenced Goodman to one year of supervised release and Ortiz to five years of supervised release. She ordered Ortiz to register as a sex offender upon being released from prison, according to the statement.
Colon previously pleaded guilty to an information charging her with one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a child and is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 26.
While Goodman was performing in a religious capacity at a Jewish religious center out of his home in East Brunswick, and may have been affiliated with another center on Lexington Avenue in the township, he and his center are not affiliated with the Chabad Lubavitch movement, according to a previous statement from Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and then-Chief James Conroy of the East Brunswick Police Department.
According to a Pennsylvania State Police report obtained in 2013, a 23-year-old male told authorities in the summer of 2012 he had been assaulted by Goodman when he was 12 years old and attending Camp Menachem in Pike County, Pennsylvania, in 2001. Goodman was a counselor at the camp and would have been about 18 years old.
Regarding that incident, Goodman was charged with 12 counts of indecent assault of a juvenile. Under Pennsylvania state law, indecent assault is considered a first-degree misdemeanor since the complainant was under the age of 13 at the time of the alleged assault.
Goodman faced five years in prison on each count in connection with that incident. Neither Goodman’s attorney at the time, Michael E. Weinstein of Milford, Pennsylvania, nor the Pike County District Attorney’s Office could be reached.