Frederick Martin Karp is charged with sexually abusing a girl in Baltimore County.
Frederick Martin Karp is charged with sexually abusing a girl in Baltimore County. (Handout photo courtesy Baltimore County Police)

A District Court judge on Thursday reduced the bail for an Ohio rabbi accused of sexually abusing a Baltimore County girl after the rabbi's lawyer argued that he is not a flight risk.

Judge Leo Ryan Jr. set bail for Frederick Martin Karp, 50, at $500,000 — down from $5 million — and ordered him to relinquish his passport. Karp, the spiritual-living director at a Cleveland-area senior center, was arrested Jan. 15 at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York; he was on his way to Israel — a trip his lawyer said had been planned for months. Karp was extradited to Maryland on Wednesday.

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Karp is accused of sexually abusing the girl, now 12, since she was 7 years old. Police say the rabbi was a friend of the girl's family and would visit them occasionally.

Karp appeared at the bail review hearing via video from the Baltimore County Detention Center. He wore an orange jumpsuit and long beard, keeping his head bowed for most of the proceedings.

Prosecutor Lisa Dever asked that Karp be held with no bail, saying he was a flight risk and that her office has "a strong case" against him. Karp was arrested at the New York airport a day after he was interviewed by Baltimore County detectives who had traveled to Ohio, she said.

But defense attorney Marc Zayon gave the court invoices showing that Karp and his wife had been planning the trip since September, saying it was a "rabbinical trip."

"He had no idea that an arrest warrant was pending," he said. "He wasn't running from these charges."

Karp's wife and brother-in-law attended the hearing, quickly leaving the Towson courthouse after a private meeting with Zayon. Karp has two grown children, Zayon said.

Karp has been suspended from his job at the Menorah Park Center for Senior Living in Beachwood, Ohio, according to Menorah Park spokeswoman Beth Silver.

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