Rabbi, 2 others arrested for prostitution, human trafficking of minor

NEW YORK, N.Y. — A rabbi and two others were arrested for in connection to the human trafficking and prostitution of a minor, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office said Monday.

Rabbi Aryeh Goodman, 35, Gabriella Colon, 18, and Richard Ortiz, 23, have been charged in connection to the human trafficking and prostitution of a 17-year old girl from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief James Conroy of the East Brunswick Police Department.

Officials said that Colon and Ortiz sold the sexual services of the teen to about 30 men at a hotel in East Brunswick from Jan. 1 to Feb. 2 of this year. The rabbi was one of the men who engaged in sexual relations with the 17-year old during this time, according to the investigation.

Colon and Ortiz, both from the Bronx, were arrested at a motel in Fort Lee on Feb. 16. and are being held at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center. They have been charged with 11 criminal counts including human trafficking, promoting prostitution of a child, endangering the welfare of a child, criminal restraint, and a number of child pornography offenses including the manufacturing, distribution and possession of pornography.

Goodman, who runs a religious learning center out of his home in East Brunswick and may be affiliated with another on Lexington Avenue in the township, has been charged with one count of engaging in prostitution with a child and one count of endangering the welfare of a child. He turned himself in to police at the East Brunswick Police Department on Feb. 6.

The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Chris Farrace or Detective Dan Unkel of the East Brunswick Police Department at (732) 390-6900, or Detective Mark Morris of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4194.