MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – A Miami Beach rabbi accused of molesting an 11-year-old girl will be released on house arrest and avoid jail while he awaits his trial, both the defense and prosecutors agreed Tuesday.READ MORE: COVID-19 Death Toll Tops 53,000 In Florida
Steve Karro, a 55-year-old substitute rabbi at Shaare Ezra Sephardic Synagogue Congregation stood confidently in court, as numerous supporters came to court to defend his name.
“He is innocent,” one woman who declined to give her full name told CBS4 News.
Karro’s attorney Jeff Weiner said Karro will be released to house arrest, with a GPS monitor after he posts a $50,000 bond. He will be allowed to see a doctor and attend religious services, as long as there are adults at all times, Judge Cristina Miranda said. The judge also ordered Karro stay away from children.
The allegations that led to Karro’s arrest originate from an incident that allegedly took place on April 16th, 2015 at his Miami Beach art gallery on the 700 block of Arthur Godfrey Road. Karro, according to the report, “intentionally touched, grabbed the buttocks” of an 11-year-old girl. He also reportedly kissed her along her neck after having the girl sit on her lap.READ MORE: 'Unacceptable,' South Florida Haitian Leaders Outraged Over What Happened In Del Rio, Texas
Police say the victim knew Karro for about five years. Karro allegedly gave the girl candy and “told her not to tell her mother about what had happened,” the report states.
Karro, at the time of his arrest, told CBS4’s Maggie Newland he treated the girl no differently than anyone else.
“It was not touch, it was hug and the way I hug everybody, the way I hug all the kids, the way I caress them the way I give everybody love. It was the same like everybody else,” he said.
He insisted his actions were not inappropriate in any way.
When he was first arrested, Karro denied the allegations but said he touched the girl’s buttocks for a “‘cleansing, as she was exhibiting negative energy,” according to police.MORE NEWS: South Florida Family Encourages Booster Shots After Vaccinated Relative Dies Of COVID-19
“It’s something very simple – love, harmony, cleansing, nothing else,” he said outside of jail.