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April 26, 2012

Court Throws Out Rabbi's Sex Abuse Conviction On Brady Violation

Baruch Lebovits 3Rabbi Baruch Lebovits' conviction on charges of molesting a teenage boy was voided on appeal yesterday because police failed to disclose documents regarding bribery allegations against a proxy of Lebovits made by one of Lebovits' victims. Lebovits had been sentenced to 10 2/3 to 32 years in prison. Having the police documents  "would have prevented me from hurting my own client," during the trial, Lebovits' lawyer Arthur Aidala said.

Baruch Lebovits 3
Rabbi Baruch Lebovits

Court nixes conviction of Brooklyn rabbi on sex-abuse charges
Baruch Lebovits out of prison after lawyer wins appeal
By Oren Yaniv • NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

A Brooklyn rabbi's conviction on charges of molesting a teenage boy was tossed aside on appeal Wednesday because detectives failed to disclose documents regarding bribery allegations.

Baruch Lebovits, 61, was sent to 10 2/3 to 32 years in prison based on testimony of a 22-year-old admitted drug user who claimed the rabbi sexually abused him at age 16.

Only after the alleged victim testified in March 2010 did prosecutors hand over notes indicating he had told police that Lebovits tried to bribe him.

But by then, the defense questions opened the door for prosecutors to ask about the bribery offer, which the rabbi later denied.

Having the documents in advance "would have prevented me from hurting my own client," said defense lawyer Arthur Aidala.

The four-judge appeals panel agreed, writing that the late disclosure "set a trap for the defendant which had already sprung at the time the notes were finally furnished."

"Total victory and it's probably the end of the case," declared Alan Dershowitz, who handled the appeal alongside Aidala.

The severity of Lebovits's sentence had sent shock waves through the close-knit Jewish community of Borough Park, where the purported crimes occurred. And the twists in the story didn't end there.

Lebovits, a wealthy owner of a travel agency, was sprung last April pending appeal after spending a year in prison. The surprising release came after the district attorney's office charged a Hasid with extortion, saying he offered to make the case go away if the rabbi coughed up $400,000. When Lebovits refused, the star trial witness emerged.

Those allegations were not part of the appeal but are sure to come up in a potential new trial.

"We are prepared to retry the case," said a spokesman for Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes.

The defense said they're hopeful that both sides will reach another resolution.

"I can't believe a responsible prosecutor will bring it again to trial," said Dershowitz. "It's inconceivable to me."

The New York Times adds:

…In an interview, [Lebovits’ new attorney, Harvard Professor Alan] Dershowitz called the decision “a total victory.”

He said if the case was retried, the defense could “introduce all new evidence we have gathered showing our client was a victim of an extortion plot.”

On Wednesday, Jerry Schmetterer, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said: “We’re prepared to retry the case. That’s all I can say.”

In a twist, the detective, Steve Litwin, is also at the center of another troubled case being handled by the Brooklyn district attorney’s office. In that case, a woman’s recantation of a rape accusation in Detective Litwin’s notes was not shared with defense lawyers for nearly a year.

Mr. Schmetterer declined to comment on Detective Litwin’s involvement in both cases.…

The bulk of that evidence Dershowitz is relying on comes from a private investigator hired by the Lebovits family who documented the alleged extortion of Lebovits by Rabbi Samuel Kellner.

But that same P.I. also said this about Lebovits:

“Lebovits is not a tzaddik,” Levine said. "I think he is a child molester. Whether he deserves 5 years [in prison] or 32 years [in prison] is a different story…"

Related Posts:

Appeals Court Tosses Lebovits Conviction, Orders New Trial.

Exclusive Interview With The P.I. Who Exposed Rabbi Samuel Kellner's Alleged Extortion.

Comments

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It should be noted that even while overturning the conviction because of the Brady violation, the appellate division declared: "We find that the evidence was legally sufficient to establish the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Moreover, upon our independent review, we are satisfied that the verdict of guilt was not against the weight of the evidence."

alan dershowitz is the lowest kind of human being ,one who while pleading his own merits is destroying the jewish people and the jewish religion by defending the likes of o. j. simsons who murdered and was released by dershowitz and this child molester.he is poisoning the dialogue between jews, to win personal glory- history will see his through this villain. he is the delivering the message that truth is not but power by money

A child molester is now roaming the streets of Boro Park, free and smiling as a bird who swallowed the canary......

The Apellate court agreed with the lower court that he molested children beyone a reasonable doubt. Now this.....

The blood of any future victims is on the head of DA Hynes who botched (?) this Hassidic pedophile case among many others to get reelected.

This is America? Even in China they are cleaning house...

Posted by: jack | April 26, 2012 at 01:45 PM

As much as I am pissed with this criminal being released and not doing one second of jail time in spite of overwhelming evidence that he is a molester, Dershowitz did what any good attorney must do.

He fought to exonerate his client.

He is a damn good lawyer and I would hire him in a nanosecond if I ever needed a defense lawyer.

Surprisingly to many, our justice system is not about finding out the truth of guilt or innocence. It is about using any loophole no matter how ridiculous to get the client off.

When you understand this you will understand that Dershowitz just did his job.

Just count the many decisions that read, we are not admitting any guilt but we will pay the fine.

Why pay the fine if you are innocent?

Because you can get away with anything you want if you have a good attorney.

Thank G-d we have trial by judge and jury in America, and not trial by bloggers and the shadowy people who inform them!

I remain convinced of Lebovits' guilt. The mystery question is why the delay in notifying the defense at the original trial? While the Kellner indictment for extortion got the publicity it seems like the ruling was based on other factors. I suspect the real scandal in this case is the Kellner accusations which I think were a fabrication enterprise of Moshe (Gabbai) Friedman of Satmar.

There are also some very strange aspects to the PI in this case.

I can only hope the DA moves quickly to a second trial and a conviction.

If Lebovits manages to stay out of jail chalk up another one for DA Hynes along with his likely role in keeping Mondrowitz out of jail.

One thing we can be sure about, Lebovits will not be vindicated. At best he will stay out of jail. The word was out on him for a long time and the trial helped spread it.

The cops are such morons.

Jack,

Why did Dersh. take the job? Did he need the money? Does he have to take every case? What happens next is on his head.

@ Litvish, yes I agree, to clarify for the bunch of yeyhoos who post here, the loopholes are found in two required law courses named Criminal Procedure and Civil Procedure.

If anyone bother to go to amazon.com they will find lots of Hornbooks and Casebooks on these subjects.

jack,
let me tell u something that u should know . there is a reason y alan dershowitz hates religious jews . he had a very bad experience w/ them . religious jews are liars and hurtful ppl .

deshowitz who USED TO be religious , dropped orthodox judaism and became secular . i don't blame him at all .

it is healthier for the mind and personal well being to stay away from religious ppl.

no one wants to feel sick in their contact . that's y dershowitz is 'destroying' ( YOUR OWN WORD ) jewish ppl - not really - only the orthodox -
BECAUSE ORTHODOX TRIED TO DESTROY HIM .

so, jack, get a lesson from that . AND ORTHODOX should get a lesson from deshowitz behaviour to RESPECT and be HONEST with jews that are NOT LIKE THEM .

that way , you won't produce a self hating jew .

It is silly to pick on defense lawyers.

Even if in this case it may lead to some very evil man on the streets sooner, it is very important the government prosecutors don't think they can get away with violating the rights of the accused.

We know that once the police decide someone is the person they are after that the police and DA are happy to make the facts fit the case even if they don't fit. This means that innocent people could be in prison while criminal escapes punishment. While this is less of an issue in sexual abuse cases where the accused is known by the victim, it is still vital for the system to work that procedure is followed fairly.

all you out there....
never did the Appelate Judges state or confirm that there is "overwhelming" evidence, or "just" evidence that Lebovits is guilty of any crime. to the contrary...you are fools and beleive all that these extortionists are selling you... the defense argued and asked from the judges to overturn the convictoin based on several legal grounds first because the weak evidence of the "one" witness without any corobration which was so weak... scripted testmoney .... and stating he doesnt remember months and years.. it should not be legal sufficient evidence... the DA argued that by law you dont have to have any corobration to put forward a witness. on this issue the judges ruled that its legal tp call this evidence but nowwhere did they aknoledge that their is beleivble evidence... go read the papers and then write....the other issue was also if the jury verdict is against the weight of the evidence on this the clhey clearly right that have to make a ruling according to law "most favorbly to prosecution" which means that on every doubt they have to rule favorblyto the Da and based on this law "favorble to prosecutoin" they found it not against the weight of evidence" everyone that understands english reads very clear that without the legal restriction that in the matter of ruling agaginst the Jury, the judges have to rule favorble tp prosecution then All FOUR JUDGES would say that the verdict IS indeed against the weight of evidence so actualy they say that there is know shred of evidence of guilt......

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