TRENTON, N.J. – The first full day of jury deliberations has ended without a verdict in the federal case of an Orthodox rabbi accused in New Jersey of using brutal tactics to force unwilling Jewish men to divorce their wives.
The jury began deliberations Wednesday afternoon and resumed Thursday. They asked U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson two questions, but did not reach a verdict. Deliberations continue Monday.
Rabbi Mendel Epstein faces charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and attempted kidnapping with his son and two other Orthodox rabbis.
Prosecutors say the rabbi's team used brutal methods and tools, including handcuffs and electric cattle prods, to torture the men into granting divorces.
The defense has acknowledged some crimes may have been committed but says the 69-year-old Epstein was not part of a kidnapping conspiracy.