Feds charge extremist Jewish sect Lev Tahor with exploiting, kidnapping children


US Federal authorities filed child exploitation and child abduction charges against leaders of an extremist Haredi Orthodox sect that has been accused of forcing girls as young as 12 years old into marriages with much older men within the sect.


Five leaders of the Lev Tahor group were charged by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and FBI Monday with crimes related to an alleged forced marriage in 2017 and a 2018 kidnapping.


The charges include conspiring to transport a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and conspiring to travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. The first charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and maximum of lifetime in prison; the second carries a maximum of 30 years in prison.


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