Religious liberty did not grant three rabbis leeway to abduct Jewish husbands to force divorces from their wives, the Third Circuit ruled, upholding their kidnapping convictions. This case seems rather odd and appears to have nothing to do with divorces but more about extortion, robbery and burglary. I dont understand how the only convictions on these violent men were not more than kidnapping. Normally a divorce can happen without proving anything to the court. So these Rabbi’s thought it an easy target to threaten innocent men to get a divorce from their wives.
The 38-page amended ruling released Monday rejected a number of challenges by the three rabbis, including that the underlying FBI sting operation constituted “outrageous government conduct” and that their religion gave them the right to kidnap uncooperative husbands in the pursuit of a gittin, or religious divorce.
Mendel Epstein, Binyamin Stimler, and Jay Goldstein were all convicted in 2015 of operating a ring of rabbis and “tough guys” to help multiple Orthodox Jewish women kidnap their husbands to obtain a get, or divorce contract.