Jewish ‘cult’ leaders sentenced for kidnap of 2 NY kids, including a child bride, in twisted sex scheme

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Leaders of a Jewish fundamentalist cult were sentenced to more than a decade behind bars for kidnapping two kids— including a child bride – then smuggling them into Mexico, prosecutors said.

Three brothers, who are members of the Lev Tahor sect, allegedly forced the girl back into the arms of her adult “husband” in a sickening and sophisticated sex scheme.

Yakov Weingarten, 34; Smiel Weingarten, 28; and Yoil Weingarten, 36; were sentenced Tuesday for snatching the children from their upstate New York home in 2018 after their mother fled Lev Tahor, a group of zealots who practice stomach-churning habits like child marriages, underage sex and family separations, US Attorney Damian Williams said Wednesday.

The brothers — who live in Guatemala — used a variety of disguises, aliases, drop phones, fake travel documents and encrypted apps to pull off the 3 a.m. kidnapping that December day, then smuggle the brother and sister across the border, the feds said.

Local, federal and international authorities launched a massive three-week search that eventually found Yante Teller, 14, and Chaim Teller, 12, and returned them to their mother.

In March, a federal jury convicted the trio of child sexual exploitation and kidnapping charges.

As punishment, US District Judge Nelson Román has sentenced Yakov and Smiel to 14 years in prison, and Yoil to 12 years, the feds said.

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