A former rabbi who pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in electronic communication describing sexual conduct with a child will serve two days in the Ramsey County Correctional Facility and must successfully complete three years of supervised probation.
Court records show Aryeh Leiv Cohen was sentenced Wednesday in Ramsey County. A judge stayed the remainder of a 30-day jail sentence pending the successful completion of his probation.
Cohen entered an amended guilty plea to the charge last November.
He had been a rabbi at Minneapolis Community Kollel, a Jewish learning center in St. Louis Park. But the center issued a statement after his arrest saying he had been relieved of his duties and was no longer participating in Kollel activities.
According to the criminal complaint, the 44-year-old Cohen was caught in an undercover operation set up in January by the Minnesota Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force, with assistance from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the North St. Paul Police Department.
In the operation, the complaint states, task force members and BCA agents posted online ads and profiles of young males and females, indicating they were seeking companionship. They also responded to advertisements placed by others.
The complaint alleges a person using a profile, but later identified as Cohen, responded to one undercover agent's profile on Grindr. And that, even after the agent indicated he would turn 16 in August, Cohen requested the two exchange photographs and offered to get together.
The complaint alleges Cohen went on to use explicit language in his electronic communication, and eventually sent the agent an explicit photo of himself.
He also is alleged to have agreed to a meeting with the agent, and arrived at the undercover apartment building on Feb. 1 of last year, where he was placed under arrest.
The complaint alleges Cohen admitted to having a Grindr account which he used to connect with other men for sexual activity, and that he admitted to connecting with who he thought was an underage male.