“The answer to the problem is, you have to go after those in the Hasidic community who are engaging in the obstruction of justice and intimidating the victims and their families. I believe bringing a single, successful case with a prison term will end the problem.”
Originally published at 8:29 pm CDT 5-16-2012
Ray Rivera of the New York Times reports the text of a stunning email exchange between former NYC Mayor Ed Koch and Charles Hynes, the Brooklyn D.A. The exchange was given to the Times by Koch:
Here's an excerpt:
Mr. Hynes: “Mayor, I am really disappointed that you didn’t ask me to explain my decision to withhold the names of Orthodox Jewish men I have prosecuted over the last three years. The decision was a change of policy and was directly related to our investigations and arrests of many Orthodox Jewish men in Brooklyn over several years. In virtually every case, after the name of the defendant was made public, it was followed by a relentless pursuit by members of the Orthodox Jewish Community for the name of the victim.”
Mr. Koch: “Others, myself included, take issue with your position, believing that public disclosure of the identity of the alleged predators, especially those convicted, applies to all similarly situated regardless of their religion. Your fear of disclosure of victim identities would apply to Catholic clergy and the many altar boys who were victims of sexual abuse. Yet you disclosed, as do all district attorneys, the names of the alleged predators in the Catholic clergy. There must be one standard before the law. It is public disclosure of the names of the predators.”
Mr. Hynes: “I don’t know what else to say, Mayor. Before Kol Tzedek, when we published the names of the defendants, our victims were regularly harassed, and most of our cases fell apart. Since Kol Tzedek and the policy of nondisclosure of defendants’ names, dozen of victims have come forward” and “were confident that we were protecting their identity. That is the paramount reason how we have successfully prosecuted most of the 95 Orthodox Jewish cases we’ve brought over the last three years. With reference to the Catholic priest cases, until recently I was the only D.A. in the state who negotiated a memorandum of understanding with my bishop.”
Mr. Hynes added: “I have had no problem identifying an indicted priest because there is no evidence that victims are intimidated. I have made it plain to all members of the clergy that any attempt to obstruct an investigation of sexual abuse will result in prosecution and punishment.”
Mr. Koch: “The answer to the problem is, you have to go after those in the Hasidic community who are engaging in the obstruction of justice and intimidating the victims and their families. I believe bringing a single, successful case with a prison term will end the problem.”
So here's what we know.
1. Hynes has not prosecuted witness tampering and harassment of victims of haredi child sexual abuse, even though he admits the problem is rampant.
2. Hynes insists that there is no problem with witness tampering and harassment in Catholic Church child sex abuse cases, meaning haredi behavior is quite a bit more lawless and much more evil than Catholic's behavior in similar situations, if Hynes is to be believed.
3. Hynes continues to claim many cases as Kol Tzedek cases that empirically are not.
4. Kol Tzedel's hotline, claimed by Hynes to operate 24/7, is mostly closed. Callers get a voicemail message according to CBS 2 News, which called the hotline 25 times at various times of the day over a considerable span of time. The phone was only answered twice.
5. Ed Koch, who earlier this week called on the governor to appoint a special prosecutor to handle haredi child sexual abuse cases, is right.
6. Hynes has demonstrated that he lacks the judgement and the honesty to do his job. Either the governor acts or the US Department of Justice must act. There is now no other choice.