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February 07, 2012

Is The Brooklyn DA Hiding Documents That Would Implicate Him?

Avrohom mondrowitz 3Next week, attorney and author Michael Lesher will argue before New York State’s highest court for the release by the Brooklyn District Attorney of documents he has been seeking since 2007, related to the failed extradition of Avrohom Mondrowitz – documents some speculate will show that the DA colluded with haredi rabbis to protect Mondrowitz.

Avrohom mondrowitz 3
Avrohom Mondrowitz shortly before his arrest in Jerusalem in 2007

Hella Winston reports for The Jewish Week on Michael Lesher's attempt to get the Brooklyn DA to release documents that might reveal illegal collusion with the haredi community in the case of Avrohom Mondrowitz.

Here's an extended excerpt from the article:

Next week, attorney and author Michael Lesher will argue before New York State’s highest court for the release by the Brooklyn District Attorney of documents he has been seeking since 2007, related to the failed extradition of Avrohom Mondrowitz.

Mondrowitz, an alleged serial Orthodox child molester who fled to Israel in 1984 before an arrest warrant could be executed, was indicted in absentia by a Brooklyn grand jury on 14 counts — including five counts of sodomy in the first degree — in 1985.

An attempt to extradite Mondrowitz in 1985 failed, and he remained free in Israel until he was arrested in 2007; the arrest came after a renewed extradition request following a change in the extradition treaty between Israel and the United States. After going up to the Israeli Supreme Court, that extradition attempt also failed.

At stake in this case is not only whether or not Lesher — and the public — will get to learn more about the actions of the Brooklyn DA, Charles Hynes, other U.S. and Israeli government agencies and the Orthodox community in the Mondrowitz case, but the effectiveness of New York State’s Freedom of Information laws.…

“This record ought to show us something about what Hynes’ office was really doing while Mondrowitz’s victims struggled to have him brought back to face justice — its actions, its considerations, its motives and any outside pressures brought to bear on the D.A,” Lesher told the Jewish Week.

He added that, “It may also shed light on the real workings of the Kol Tzedek program, which yoked Hynes’ office to powerful Orthodox organizations while the Mondrowitz extradition case was pending.”

Lesher also believes that Hynes’ steadfast refusal to produce the documents indicates that the DA may be trying to hide something.

“If there’s nothing in this file to embarrass the DA, why has he fought for so long to conceal it?” Lesher asked.…

Hynes has justified his refusal to release this information by invoking New York civil rights law intended to protect the privacy of victims; he has claimed that to reveal the name of an alleged perpetrator could somehow, even outside of cases of incest, identify the victim. 

Legal experts have questioned the validity of this justification, and some observers speculate that the DA’s policy is politically motivated. It is aimed, critics say, at shielding the community and its institutions — as well as the DA’s office itself — from the scrutiny that could result if more information was known about these cases and how they were handled.

(Charges that Hynes treats the Orthodox community with kid gloves have dogged him for years. A 2003 Newsday article quoted a retired police captain saying, “In Brooklyn, it almost seemed like there were two penal codes, one for the Hasidic community and one for everyone else.” The DA’s office rejected the charge, saying its decisions were not politically motivated.)…

Then, in what the New York Law Journal pointed out was what a highly unusual move, the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, agreed to hear Lesher’s case. 

At his appearance next week, Lesher will argue that by permitting a law enforcement agency to withhold any and all documents “that may have something to do with the target of a possible future prosecution,” the Appellate Division has created an entirely new justification for withholding information under FOIL.” This is of particular concern because, as Lesher argues, FOIL “mandates liberal disclosure of documents to the public.”

Indeed, according to Robert Freedman, the executive director of the Department of State Committee on Open Government, “Even if it can successfully be argued that the extradition materials were compiled for a law enforcement purpose, in consideration of changes in circumstances [the now closed extradition case], it may be difficult for the DA to prove that disclosure at this juncture would in some way be damaging.”

In fact, last month the New York Civil Liberties Union filed an amicus brief in support of Lesher’s appeal, arguing, in essence, that agencies have an obligation — already recognized by the high court — to redact and release, rather than withhold, documents.…
Read the entire report here.

Comments

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Lesher is an unemployed idiot who lives off of social assistance.

He is a fool who never succeeds at his half-assed attempts to do things because he never thinks them through and never does his research properly.

What everyone seems to be missing is that the Brooklyn DA's office continues to do what it has done for decades, routinely handling abuse cases in the Orthodox community so that offenders do not serve jail time, do not have publicity and, since the establishment of sex offender registries, ensure that Orthodox sex offenders avoid being registered (or at least put on the public registry).

This is how it was done with Rabbi Yehuda Kolko recently just as it was done with Rabbi Lewis (Lipa) Brenner a decade earlier. No jail time no requirement to register on the public sex offender registry. Nothing has changed. The DA's office routinely takes advantaged of the families of abused children and pushes them to accept these sorts of outrageous deals claiming it is to "protect" the survivors/victims.

Moreover, the Brooklyn DA's office was run for 13 years by District Attorney Eugene Gold, one of Hynes' predecessors, who was charged with raping the 10 year daughter of another district attorney. Gold confessed to a lesser charge of fondling and agreed to undergo psychiatric treatment to avoid prosecution and jail time. This is the routine way of handling abuse cases in the general community for decades and continues to be the routine way abuse cases are dealt with in the Orthodox community.

Basically, former Brooklyn DA Gold got the same sort of deal that has been (and still is) routinely handed out by the DA's office in Brooklyn.

We need to out all those involved with these deals and once and for all clean up the District Attorney's office in Brooklyn. We need to publicize the names of the sex offenders and the fixers both in and out of the DA's office who protect them.

These deals protect only the abusers and put children in our community at risk.

At Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles they've removed the entire staff at the school because of their failures to protect children.

The same should be done at the Brooklyn DAs office. We have zero confidence in the entire office to protect any child.

I remember eugene gold very well i could not beleive it when i heard about his rape of a 10 year old if i remember he moved to israel is that correct.

henna white is as responsible as charlie hynes

>Lesher’s appeal comes at a time of
>increasing controversy about the
>Brooklyn DA’s refusal to release
>information about the identities of 90
>Orthodox child molesters his office
>claims to have arrested since 2009.
>That was the year it launched Kol
>Tzedek, a confidential hotline working
>in partnership with OHEL Children’s
>Home and Family Services and other
>Jewish nonprofits, to encourage
>Orthodox victims of sexual abuse to
>report these crimes to secular
>authorities.

Actually, the DA's office encourages rabbinical leaders to work with the DA to ensure that the Orthodox pedophiles are protected and never get a day of jail time.

Here is a rough list with docket number from earlier lists. Some information may not be up to date/accurate. Charges may have been dropped, pleas made etc. Some chages may be earlier than 2009.

See comments:
http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2011/12/brooklyn-da-appears-to-violate-the-law-to-protect-haredim-from-bad-press-345.html

Lesher is a jerk. He is a cruel person and an outright liar. He has teamed up for years with another winner, Amy Neustein and has hounded an innocent child and her father for years. I wish him all the worst.

I can't understand why, but the Gerer Chassidim have put incredible pressure on all the powers that be to protect this molester.

More than say, Satmar put re Jerry Brown et al, Pupa put re Daskalowitz, etc. etc.

Does anyone know why? The Gerers are supposedly very frum when it comes to any type of sexual deviancy (even straight) so this is a big puzzle.

Maybe if Lesher succeeds in getting the documents under the FOI act, the genie will come out of the bottle never to be put back again. Just like when the Catholic church imploded on this issue.

I wish he gets the information why the coverup.

why? maybe payoffs, prestige, purity of brand, out of sight out of mind.

I had never heard of Eugene Gold. I did some googling and found that he was the DA who prosecuted Son of Sam, David Berkowitz.

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