The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office said Monday that it is trying to reach a plea bargain with the rabbi from East Windsor accused of committing sex crimes against two boys under 18 years old.
Menachem A. Chinn, a teacher at Shalom Torah Academy in Monmouth County, is charged with sexual assaulting the alleged victims, one of whom was 12 years old at the time, and with endangering the welfare of a child. The crimes occurred as far back as 2010, but were reported to law enforcement authorities only recently, authorities have said.
Chinn’s defense lawyer, Steven D. Altman, and assistant Mercer County Prosecutor Renee Robeson, met briefly behind closed doors Monday morning with state Superior Court Judge Peter E. Warshaw, sitting in Trenton, but there were no developments.
Outside the courtroom, Robeson said her office is “looking to see if we can resolve” the case. She said a “formal” plea offer has not been made to Chinn.
Altman said there have been no plea offers so far.
Chinn was not in the courtroom Monday, with the judge saying from the bench that he was not transported from the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, where he is being detained, to Trenton for court.
The judge did not indicate if Chinn’s absence was a mistake, but he stressed the need to have Chinn in Trenton as “early as possible” the next time he and lawyers meet July 6.
The charges against Chinn go back seven years.
One of the alleged victims, a then-17-year-old boy, claimed Chinn had “inappropriate sexual contact” with him “numerous times” from July 2010 to May 2011, during a time when Chinn was his teacher “and youth group religious mentor,” the Prosecutor’s Office has said.
The other victim, then 12 years old, alleged that Chinn had touched him “inappropriately” in 2012, the Prosecutor’s Office said. In both cases, the alleged crimes took place in Chinn’s home, authorities have said.
Chinn was arrested in April, and been held in jail ever since. Last month, Warshaw refused to have him released from jail.
Chinn, a married native of Israel, lists himself on his Linkedin page as a youth director. Published reports have said he was the director of a chapter of the National Council of Synagogue Youth.