As Levi Pulkkinen of the Seattle PI notes, a 25-year-old man described as "a longtime religious instructor at several Seattle synagogues," is facing charges of child molestation - stemming from an alleged romantic relationship with a 14-year-old he engaged in while teaching the girl.
Lydia S. Katz is now up against three counts of third-degree child molestation with a $150,000 warrant issued for his arrest - though authorities say Katz has disappeared and may have fled to Guatemala.
The temple where Katz allegedly met his victim is not named in court documents.
Charging documents indicate the alleged relationship between Katz and the 14-year-old victim was discovered when the victim's mom stumbled upon a Hebrew love poem Katz allegedly penned and sent to the victim via email. According to charging documents, "[Katz] sent [the victim] an email titled 'You' that contained a Hebrew love poem, the English translation of which includes (in part) 'I am drunk on your kisses.'"
According to the PI:
The girl's mother confronted Katz after finding romantic emails he sent to her daughter, [Seattle Police Det. Donna Strangeland] told the court. One included a love poem that contained the phrase "I am drunk on your kisses."
According to the detective, Katz didn't deny the allegations leveled by the girl's mother.
"As things stand, I am at your mercy," Katz told the woman in a text message. "My career, my freedom, all I have ever worked to build; these things you can destroy with one simple call or email."
The girl's mother notified their temple, which subsequently fired Katz.
According to the PI's account of the case, Seattle police interviewed the 14-year-old victim twice, and "She ultimately told investigators Katz molested her as part of a romantic relationship."
Katz has apparently been tutoring children preparing for their bar and bat mitzvahs and has served as a camp counselor in the past. Police also say he has a history of inappropriate discussions with children.
More from the PI:
"There is information that Katz spoke to several 14-year-olds about sexual subjects, such as safely engaging in bondage/domination/sado-masochistic sex and his believe in ply-amorous relationships," Strangeland told the court. Katz spoke to the young teens about those topics at his North Seattle home.
Editors note: Charging documents have been removed from this post because they contained potentially identifying information about the victim.