MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – An 11-year-old girl who has alleged that a rabbi molested her inside his Miami Beach art gallery in late May shared her side of the story in recently-released state documents.
In the documents, the alleged victim detailed her interaction with Rabbi Steve Karro at his gallery on 41st Street. The day after the incident, she told police, “I went there, and we were like, ‘Oh, how are you?’ And then we hugged. Then he took me to the back room, and then he said, ‘You look so beautiful. Your hair is so pretty. You’ve gotten so big.'”
The girl went on to tell police that Karro “made her sit on his lap. He got up, and then he gave her more hugs, which escalated to kisses.” She told police Karro “kissed her cheeks, then he went down to her neck, and it appeared that the subject was trying to go down to her lips, but she turned her head away so he wouldn’t.”
She told police the rabbi “told her again how beautiful she was, and then he began to touch her hair,” adding Karro told her, “‘It’s really not necessary for you to tell anybody about this.'” According to the documents, the girl said Karro “grabbed her butt when he hugged her with both of his hands.”
The 11-year-old said she told her mother about what allegedly happened the following day. She said Karro went to her mom’s job “because he didn’t want her to notify police.”
Karro was arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious molestation. He has denied any wrongdoing. “Very simple: It’s love, harmony, cleansing, nothing else,” he told 7News after bonding out of jail May 28. “There was nothing there inappropriate, nothing that I had violated anybody’s right.”
The girl’s mother spoke out about the alleged incident on June 24, after 7News aired surveillance video showing Karro giving her an envelope which, she said, contained cash. She gave that money to police. “God forbid, if you can just close your eyes and think about a child who comes home to you, very scared, and says, ‘Mom, I have something to tell you,'” she said.
The mother said, since Karro’s arrest, she has been outcast by her local community. “I know that I have to stand up for my daughter and for this community, maybe for the voices that are scared to speak out. I’m here for you,” she said.
According to the documents, Karro told the girl’s mother he would not do anything sexual to her daughter because he is very caring.
Karro declined 7News’ requests for an interview.