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Nov 23, 1994

In a courtroom rife with rancorous passion, an ultra-Orthodox rabbi was sentenced yesterday to 4 to 12 years in prison for kidnapping a Jewish teen-ager who disappeared from his family for two years.

Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans, the leader of a small Hasidic sect, was given the prison term after he declared fervently that he was the victim of the kind of "blood libel" that had "cost the lives of millions," and after the youth's mother spoke with equal intensity about losing her son to "people who control his mind."

NEW YORK -- The father of a missing New Jersey teenager allegedly kidnapped by a Brooklyn rabbi and his wife collapsed in court Tuesday after a judge set bail for a third suspect who had only surrendered hours earlier.

The suspect, Mordechai Weisz, 19, had been a fugitive since a warrant was issued for his arrest last Friday.

He surrendered to Brooklyn prosecutors at 7 a.m., hours before he and his yeshiva teacher, Rabbi Schlomo Helbrans, and Helbrans' wife, Malka, were arraigned on kidnapping and conspiracy charges in the disappearance 10 months ago of Shai Fihma, 14, of Ramsey, N.J.

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