It was not the first time Cohen had been accused of assault. He was out on bond over a 2019 case in which he was accused of sexual contact by a student, now 20 years old, who was staying with Cohen during an exchange program from Spain.
Cohen has also been accused of faking his Jewish heritage and his alleged disabilities. He regularly poses for photos while hooked up to an oxygen tank and in a wheelchair.
The unnamed boy called a podcast recording on February 1 and accused Cohen of sexual misconduct, using the word ‘rape’ to describe the abuse he said he had experienced since he was adopted at 11.
He used a burner phone to avoid detection from Cohen and was planning to wait until he was 18 to report the abuse to police. He wanted to remain anonymous until then out of his fear of Cohen.
The podcasters later called the police, who traced the phone and went to see the boy. Initially, he denied making the accusations, but later admitted it when police played him a recording of the call.
He told police he was ‘not brave enough to say anything’ about the abuse.
Chief prosecutor for the Harris County District Attorney’s Crimes Against Children Division, Janna Oswald, detailed some of the allegations against Cohen, saying he would lock the boys in a room for long stretches of the day and then force them to engage in sexual acts when he released them.
One 16-year-old victim said Cohen would pepper spray them if they refused to comply. Oswald alleged Cohen intentionally used the guise of religion and a facade on social media to try to hide his true nature and crimes.
That social media presence included a TikTok page with over 200,000 followers, along with widely viewed YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram profiles.
On those accounts, Cohen and his family showcased their religious lifestyle, and the adoptive patriarch advocated for single men to adopt children.
Some accused Cohen of fabricating that religious lifestyle and background. In numerous interviews, Cohen talked about being raised in the Hasidic community in New York City, where he said he spoke Yiddish and became a Rabbi.
But records showed he was from Odessa, Texas, and that his real name was Jeffrey Lujan Vejil, according to Reduxx.
On social media and in public, Cohen often appeared in a wheelchair and wearing an oxygen mask. His own adoptive sons said even that was a fabrication, with one boy telling KTRK ‘everything [Cohen] does is fake.’
The attorney representing the exchange student Cohen was accused of molesting in 2019 told ABC13 the charges against him were no surprise.
In that case, the student complained to the Sharpstown High School about Cohen’s behavior. The student is suing Cohen and the group that placed him at his house, according to ABC 13.