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Rabbi Avremi Zippel

In a preliminary court hearing in Salt Lake City, Utah on Tuesday, Rabbi Avrohom (Avremi) Zippel testified that Alavina Florreich, 69, sexually abused him for about 10 years—from age 8 to 18—while she was employed as his nanny, Deseret News reported.

Police detained Florreich in March 2018 on suspicion of 131 counts of child abuse. In April she was charged in Utah’s 3rd District Court with five counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child, a first-degree felony, and two counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.

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Rabbi Zippel said he was inspired to come forward by the Me Too movement, especially by Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and 156 other women who testified in court that former USA Gymnastics team physician Dr. Larry Nassar had abused them sexually.

Zippel’s parents, Benny, now 52, and Sharonne, now 50, moved to Utah with their one-year-old son in 1992, as shluchim (emissaries) of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. They currently run the Chabad House at 1760 South 1100 East, Salt Lake City, where Avremi is the program director, alongside his wife, Sheina.

Sharonne home-schooled the children in the mornings, and in the afternoons she cared for the children with the help of the nanny, a Polynesian woman in her 40s the family hired in 1998.

In an interview taped by police, Florreich said she was teaching little Avremi Zippel to be a good husband, as part of his education.

It should be noted that an early introduction of children to sex, at ages 4 to 6, is part of Polynesian culture. According to Zippel, his sexual abuse began on Sept. 1, 1999, when he was eight years old.

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