CHICAGO (STMW) - A man who was sexually assaulted by a West Rogers Park rabbi when he was a teenager told a Cook County judge Wednesday that his emotional pain has been so debilitating, his relationship with his family suffered and he cannot hold a full-time job.
“I am almost constantly afraid, feel alone, scared, angry, anxious, feeling useless, unwanted and unworthy of love,” the man said before Judge Evelyn Clay sentenced Rabbi Aryeh “Larry” Dudovitz to eight years in prison for the October 2006 incident, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
“I carry shame, which makes loving another very difficult. I feel voiceless, not heard, unworthy of speaking, being heard or spoken to.”
Dudovitz said he hopes the victim recovers from the lingering trauma.
Dudovitz’s lawyer, Richard Kling, said his client, a married 48-year-old father of nine, is someone who has struggled with “fighting homosexual urges — not sexual predator urges.”
But Assistant State’s Attorney Tracy Senica called Dudovitz “a sexual predator of the worst kind” because the victim and his family saw him as a “spiritual leader and moral compass.”
Dudovitz attacked the victim, then 15, at the boy’s home after they celebrated the Jewish holiday Sukkot.
The teenager had been drinking, as per custom, but after the boy’s father and siblings went to sleep, Dudovitz gave him additional vodka shots while the two were in a sukkah, or hut, that is constructed for the religious festival, prosecutors said.
The victim eventually went inside the home and to his downstairs bedroom.
Dudovitz said he was leaving. But the boy woke up to Dudovitz performing a sex act on him.
The victim, now 24, said he has sought the help of a trauma psychotherapist and many other mental health professionals.
His depression kept him from finishing high school, and he landed in rehab twice after he started self-medicating with drugs and alcohol.
“I never thought I would have a future. I always thought that I would be looked on as someone less than, or worse than the next,” the man said.
“With this sentencing, I can clearly put my hopes and dreams in front of me and know that there is hope in my present life and future to come.”
Outside court, the victim said he was relieved to see this chapter in his life come to a close.
A few feet away, Dudovitz’s wife sobbed.
Dudovitz, of the 6400 block of North Albany, was arrested and charged in 2013 with criminal sexual assault.
At the time of the incident, the victim’s family was initially unsure about whether they wanted to proceed criminally, prosecutors have said.