Three rabbis and seven others are accused of trying to force Orthodox Jewish men into agreeing to divorce their wives, CBS New York reports.
They allegedly conspired to kidnap and use cattle prods to get the men to agree to divorce their wives. Under Jewish law, a person must obtain what’s called a “get,” a legal Jewish document, for a divorce to become official. But a husband must agree to give a “get” for the divorce to be official. In some instances, the men refuse.
The suspects were arraigned in a New Jersey federal court.
“The charge is kidnapping and extortion. Violent crime to get Jewish men to give divorces they wouldn’t otherwise get. It’s not really an exercise of religion. It’s really about money and violent crime,” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said.