Passaic, NJ - Man Arrested For 4th Time On Abuse Charges In The Jewish Community

Published on: May 31st, 2009 at 09:49 AM

Passaic, NJ - A 48-year-old Passaic [Orthodox] man was arraigned in state court Thursday on charges he attempted to have sex with two 14-year-old boys in 2006.

Mitchell Levinton, of Lafayette Street, was being held late Thursday in the Passaic County Jail on $300,000 bail. Prosecutors say he was employed at a [Kosher] catering company when he befriended the boys, who were caterer's helpers, and had them over to his home.

There, according to prosecutors, he exposed them to pornography and engaged in acts in their presence.

Ultimately, according to prosecutors, he unsuccessfully tried to get them to perform sex acts on him by offering them money.

The incidents came to light recently when someone who heard about the alleged crimes tipped off authorities, who investigated the allegations and arrested Levinton last week.

Levinton pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Thursday before state Superior Court Judge Ernest M. Caposela in Paterson to two counts of attempted sexual assault, two counts of promoting prostitution, two counts of soliciting prostitution and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

In 2001, Levinton was sentenced to 364 days in jail and was placed on lifetime probation after being convicted of criminal sexual contact in Atlantic City. In that case, the victim was an adult.

Last December, he pleaded guilty before state Superior Court Judge Joseph A. Falcon in Paterson to a charge of lewdness and is still awaiting a sentence of what prosecutors recommended be parole supervision for life and, if he violated that sentence, an automatic year and a half in state prison.

That plea stemmed from his arrest in May 2008 on charges of criminal sexual contact with a 17-year-old developmentally disabled boy in Passaic. Levinton had been doing electrical contract work for the victim's family and befriended the boy, according to authorities, and ultimately exposed himself in front of the victim after inviting him to his Passaic home to watch a movie.

On the current charges, he faces as much as 40 years in state prison for the alleged sex offenses, and 18 months in prison for violating his lifetime parole, according to prosecutors.

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