No charges filed against rabbi accused of touching students at Miami Gardens Jewish school

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A Lubavitch Educational Center teacher, accused of inappropriately touching students earlier this year, is no longer facing charges after prosecutors determined there wasn’t enough evidence to prove the case “beyond a reasonable doubt,” according to a memo from the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.

Yosef Benita, 33, was arrested in April after two students accused him of touching them. He faced charges of lewd and lascivious molestation on a child under 12. The school suspended him and said it was cooperating with authorities.

In the memo filed Tuesday, Assistant State Attorney Kelly Hartman cited reasons for not filing charges including “lack of physical evidence and one of the children saying “the touching was an accident.”

In statement Wednesday, the Lubavitch Educational Center, 17330 NW Seventh Ave. in Miami Gardens, said Benita will resume teaching in August.

“Safely educating our children is our absolute priority,” the school said in statement. “We take these allegations very seriously and therefore self-reported to the Florida Department of Children and Families. We fully cooperated with the authorities and conducted an independent investigation of our own as well. “

Benita, who was jailed for 10 days before going on house arrest, said Wednesday that he is relieved his ordeal is over.

“When I heard the story, I was shocked,” he said, adding he was pulled way from his wife and five children. “I know I didn’t do anything.”

Dustin Tischler, an attorney representing Benita, said Wednesday that Benita “ maintains 100 percent innocence in all of the allegations made against him.”

His wife, Sivan, said her husband being arrested “was very traumatizing for our family.”

“It was false accusations,” she said. “ He is devoted to his students, devoted to Torah learning. We are happy the truth came out.”

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