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Rabbi Sent to Prison

Former Potomac rabbi David A. Kaye was exposed on national television after traveling from Montgomery County to Herndon, Va. with the intent to have sex with a 13-year-old boy.

Last Friday, David A. Kaye, 56 of Potomac, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Alexandria to 78 months in prison and will remain on 10 years of supervised release after getting out, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg.

Kaye chatted on the Internet for 10 days with an individual who identified himself as a 13-year-old boy, but was actually a member of the group Perverted Justice posing as an underage boy.

On Aug. 17, 2005, Kaye traveled from Potomac to meet the boy in a Herndon house that was being used in a cooperative sting operation between NBC Dateline and Perverted Justice, according to court documents.

When Kaye arrived at the house, he was greeted by Dateline NBC correspondent Chris Hansen.

“What are you doing here?” Hansen asked Kaye, while their interaction was being filmed.

“Not something good,” said Kaye.

“Not good? That’s kind of an understatement, isn’t it?” Hansen replied. “What do you do for a living?”

“A rabbi,” Kaye said.

When Hansen asked Kaye what “a man of God” is doing trying to meet a 13-year-old boy, Kaye asked Hansen who he was.

“Okay, look, you know I’m in trouble and I know I’m in trouble. I am not interested in getting in further trouble,” Kaye said.

The incident was aired on Dateline in November 2005.

Following a two-day bench trial in September, U.S. District Court Judge James Cacheris convicted Kaye of one count of coercion and enticement and one count of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual contact.

“This court finds that the pictures and sexually suggestive advances on the child were direct attempts to persuade, induce and entice the child to engage in sexual activity,” according to Cacheris’ ruling.

Kaye was a former rabbi at Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac and, at the time of the sting operation, was reportedly vice president of a Jewish youth group in Rockville.

In his ruling, Cacheris acknowledged that Perverted Justice received money from NBC, according to court documents.

“The court recognizes that Perverted Justice is an organization dedicated to exposing child molesters and clearly had a motive to ‘deliver’ [Kaye] since it was being featured on NBC Dateline,” according to the court documents. “However, defendant’s argument proves to be unpersuasive.”

Much of the online chat between Kaye and what he thought was a 13-year-old boy was part of the court record, and sexually explicit. The judge called Kaye’s communication, not “sexual innuendo,” but “blatant, aggressive sexual advances.”