TRENTON, NEW JERSEY - A prominent Flatbush rabbi remains behind bars tonight over allegations he forced Orthodox husbands into granting their wives religious divorces.
Rabbi Mendel Epstein and nine others are accused in the divorce extortion case that spans from Brooklyn to New Jersey to upstate New York. Rabbi Epstein, Rabbi Martin Wolmark of Rockland County, and eight others went before a judge Thursday after being busted by federal authorities in a sting operation.
Court documents state the crime included use of electric cattle prods or placing plastic bags over the heads of men. Prosecutors say the asking price for a kidnapping was $50,000.
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The suspects are all being held without bail. They are due back in court next Friday.