TRENTON, N.J. – Prosecutors are playing recordings made by undercover agents who met with a New Jersey rabbi on trial for allegedly using brutal tactics to force unwilling Jewish husbands to divorce their wives.
Rabbi Mendel Epstein is seen on grainy video speaking with two undercover agents posing as a brother and sister. They wanted to get the woman a divorce from her unwilling husband.
Epstein is heard saying it would cost at least $60,000 to get the "tough guys" to carry out the operation. He also discusses tactics to force the husband's hand, including kidnapping him and using cattle prods and karate.
Epstein faces charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and attempted kidnapping with his son and two other Orthodox rabbis. His attorney doesn't dispute the acts were committed but says they don't rise to federal kidnapping.