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Rabbi, Aide Charged With Groping Teen Girl

The chief rabbi of a Hungarian Hasidic congregation in New York and his assistant were charged Thursday in Los Angeles with groping a 15-year-old girl aboard an airplane flight from Australia.

Rabbi Israel Grunwald and Yehudah Friedlander, both 44, were taken into custody by FBI agents when the plane arrived at Los Angeles International Airport at noon Wednesday.

Friedlander faces a charge of sexual abuse of a minor and was being held until a bail hearing that was delayed until Friday. Grunwald was charged with a lessor offense of sexual contact with a minor and was released on $10,000 bond.

Grunwald, who heads a Hasidic movement in Borough Park, Brooklyn, and Friedlander, his assistant, were in Australia for conferences in Sydney and Melbourne.

The girl, an American, was traveling alone.