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May 18, 2012

Report: D.A. Allowed Beit Din To Decide Outcome Of Grand Jury Child Sex Abuse Case

Charles Hynes and a haredi rabbi 1994In at least one case Brooklyn's District Attorney Charles Hynes allowed a beit din (haredi rabbinical court) lead by Rabbi Dovid Feinstein to decide the outcome of a grand jury investigation. Following the beit din ruling in March of 2000, the D.A. dropped charges against Rabbi Shlomo Hafner of molesting a 10-year-old hearing-impaired boy, with one of the rabbis bragging that "We educated the D.A. on how to properly conduct a sex abuse trial."

Charles Hynes and a haredi rabbi 1994

For Jewish Orthodox Children: No Justice -- No Peace
Rabbi Asher Lipner • Huffington Post

The special treatment given by prosecutors to Orthodox Jewish sex offenders, reported on extensively over the past six years in The Jewish Week and on the blog Failed Messiah, was first documented in a Newsday series in 2003 regarding the failed police investigation in Brooklyn of infamous alleged serial child molester Avraham Mondrowitz, revealing how he was allowed to flee to Israel and avoid extradition due to political pressure from his community. A retired Police Detective expressed the frustration of the "handcuffed" police department who had repeatedly discovered that there were "two justice systems in Brooklyn; one for Orthodox Jews and the other for everyone else."

While Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes boasts that he stemmed the tide of child molestation in Brooklyn's Catholic community by insisting that the Bishops sign a "memo of agreement" to turn over all allegations directly to his office, this is a far cry from his agreement with the Agudah rabbis allowing them to decide which alleged molesters are reported to the police, as was exposed by Failed Messiah and repeated last week in a New York Times article. Regardless of Mr. Hynes' claims that he "expects" that these allegations will "also be reported to his office," he has never criticized the rabbis for not reporting them despite the fact that there exists not a single documented case in which a leading rabbi in Brooklyn has reported a molester to the police.

An account detailed in "Tempest and the Temple: Jewish Communities and Child Sex Scandals" (Brandeis University Press, 2009), citing research published in 2008 in the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, documents that in at least one case Mr. Hynes allowed a Beit Din (rabbinical court) lead by Rabbi Dovid Feinstein to decide the outcome of a grand jury investigation. Following the Beit Din ruling in March of 2000, the D.A. dropped charges against Rabbi Shlomo Hafner of molesting a 10-year-old hearing-impaired boy, with one of the rabbis bragging that "We educated the D.A. on how to properly conduct a sex abuse trial."

Prosecutorial tolerance in Brooklyn and other Orthodox enclaves (such as Lakewood, N.J., Monsey, N.Y., and Baltimore, Md.) for rabbis protecting child molesters is all the more disturbing at a time when the national and global trend is increasingly to crack down on cover ups. In Missouri, a Catholic Bishop was indicted for failing to report an abusive priest, and four Amish Bishops were convicted of failing in their duty as mandated reporters to inform the authorities of a child molester in their church. Officers of the University of Pennsylvania were arrested for failing to report allegations against football coach Jerry Sandusky, and the Archbishop of Philadelphia is being tried for endangering the welfare of children after allowing accused priests to work with children without alerting police or unsuspecting parents. In Los Angeles, the Archbishop has been investigated by the FBI for fraudulently passing off a pedophile priest as safe to be teaching children. Even the Hague is taking up the question of whether the institutional cover up of sexual abuse perpetrated by a religious hierarchy on its children, should be considered a crime against humanity.

But in the name of "cultural sensitivity" the State's Attorney's office in New Jersey tolerates a "wall of silence" by rabbis in Lakewood, who proudly announced in the Asbury Park Press in 2009 that all cases of sexual abuse against children are "handled" by a special Beit Din that was set up by the local yeshivah. Last year a Jewish Week investigation exposed that State's Attorney Marlene Lynch Ford has made no efforts to force the rabbis to turn over cases of child abuse that they have "adjudicated," despite the fact that it is a crime in New Jersey for any adult to fail to report suspicions of abuse to the authorities. In Baltimore, there has been extensive coverage in The Jewish Times documenting the Va'ad Harrabanim (the Council of Rabbis) putting pressure on victims of abuse and their advocates to keep silent, and yet law enforcement agencies refuse to even investigate as long as victims are still too intimidated to come forward.

In many cases of child molestation in the Catholic Church, including in Long Island, N.Y., Boston and Philadelphia, prosecutors have convened grand juries to subpoena all the records of abuse allegations, and in one example in Belgium last year, police raided church offices to investigate hidden records. In cases of rabbinic cover ups, however, prosecutors have not even gone as far as asking nicely and respectfully for the rabbis to give them all of the names of the alleged molesters they know about, and have certainly not put any pressure at all on the rabbis for breaking the law and endangering the welfare of children.

What is the reason for this double standard? Is it some kind of reverse discrimination, in which the authorities bend over backwards to avoid charges of anti-Semitism?

But is it really anti-Semitic to protect Jewish children, even if those who are harming them happen to be Jews from their own community, and sometimes even rabbis? Ultimately, Jewish children will only be safe when Jewish and non-Jewish people of good conscience work together to demand that the rabbis stop covering up abuse, and that the prosecutors use all their resources and authority to bring the abusers to justice and to hold those who cover up abuse accountable.

Rabbi Asher Lipner, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist who treats survivors of sexual abuse, Jewish and non-Jewish in Brooklyn, N.Y.


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Sex, sex and more sex - yippie!

What the fuck?

On the plus side Shmarya, this story is spreading. Mainstream blogs are picking it up

Hopefully the wall of silence will come crashing down on a few heads.

The reason for all this is simple. It's called elections, and it is assumed that Orthodox Jews vote as a block.

I wonder if shifting an essential government function (police/judical) to a sectarian authority, if done regularly and for religious purposes, might qualify as an establishment clause violation?
or, also just wondering, if you are the parents of Hassidic child who is molested, and the perpetrator is not brought to justice because the government is deferring to religious authority, could you sue the DA (on behalf of the child) for violating the constitution?
what the DA is doing just doesn't sound kosher from a constitutional perspective.

Dr asher lipner

go for it ure the best

What the DA did was allow Col. Saunders to protect the chickens.

Anything theese ultras do is ultra treif.

It would be a good start to put back the power and the law of the land where it belongs, that is the impartial proper Enforcement Authorities, and not to self serving corrupted self interest groups. When these self serving interests have their merry way, they cover up for their Melamdim, Mashgichim, Menahalim, and their yotzer meshartav, vaasher meshartav, their next of kin, Financial Contributors, those well connected, interest groups, except those that are expendable which at the same time comes in handy to show their tzviakishe self righteousness, as in Teriezenshtadt. On a paid up job, or at times when the people high up are mislead with half truths or full lies in order to gain their blessings, not to mention "Vehoelokim Inah Leyado" which is a whole different program, they use everything at their disposal, established community organizations for tracking and espionage, other friendly community volunteer organizations that have the wherewithal for break ins to gain unlawful entrance under cover of darknesss to obtain what they think they might need destroying someones reputation/ whatever the reason might be, or setting up Balak and Bilam Kozbi bat tzur type of entrapments, never mind 'Tzror et hamidyanim asher niklu lachem al dvar peor veal dvar Kozbi'/ 'Velifneu Iver lo titen Michshol to them it doesn't apply', or insinuate as if Kozbi bat tzur happenings, or planting chametz to discredit on child custody issues and cases, and when the Achbarim destroyed their supplanted chametz, they invent virtual chametz, they use their power and connections to get orders from the D.A. through the Heyena's (not her real name) to do wire tapping, hacking, monitoring, interfering with Postal mail, Package Deliveries and many other means that there's no end, to possibly obtain something that might help on their path of mass destruction.

They truly feel on cloud nine that anyone's stake is at their whim. There is also an individual who specializes in collection of garbage in his 'Lo Telech Rachil Beamecha proof Database' on individuals to have it ready on moments notice Let metzo. If you don't believe this, you are free to Google it up. Recently, after the media has done an expose on their , muscle flexing, blackmailing, micro managing and controlling individuals lives and who knows what not is at stake, and they fear that Democracy and freedom of Religion will reign for the masses, their Power and livelihood is at stake. They always want to be at the center of the stage, full blown undivided attention, thereby banning talented individuals whether in the music industry, or anyone capable of gathering greater masses than they possibly can, of which is only unnecessary competition. The limud zechut you might possibly explain is, that they want to bring mashiach NOW, as the mishnah states, BeIkvate deMashiche chutzpe yasge.... with all the Mishna's details in descending order. If you don't give them your votes, you might save a couple of victimized children from their abusers, vechol hamatzil nefesh achat miYisrael keilu kiyam olem male. If you think all this is not true and cannot happen, think again!

It is encumbent that all custody cases, child abuse, and where corruption is prevalent to be scrutinized, reprocessed, and bring those resposible to Justice, asides from calling for his immediate resignation. Ve'im tirtzu, en zu agada.

The Orthodox are not so different than other communities.
In other communities what happens to the 80% of abuse cases where the abuser is a family member ?
Answer: it does not get reported. Somehow people feel that prison and shame is not the right answer for Uncle....
In the Orthodox community the definition of family is wider and includes nearly all members.

Sex, sex and more sex - yippie!

Sex is the instrument of abuse in this context. Hurry now, you're needed in the "Early Man" exhibit at the museum.

Sodomites in the pockets of sodomites beholden to sodomites in a nation of sodomites. Hashem had a very, very good reason for bestowing Fukushima upon America. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out lest you get turned into a pillar of salt.

This is not a drill. This is Geulah. We're leaving.

I wonder if shifting an essential government function (police/judical) to a sectarian authority, if done regularly and for religious purposes, might qualify as an establishment clause violation?

Doesn't the establishment clause apply just to the federal government? From the First Amendment:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"

No arguments on the content of the article and kudos to him for writing it, but I think it's a bit untruthful for Dr. Asher Lipner to call himself Rabbi Asher Lipner when writing in the Huffington Post. I have never seen him refer to himself as such, why the need to do it when writing to the wider public forum?

If the intent is to give the impression to those out of our community that not "all Rabbi's" agree with the modus operandi of keeping things "in house" it is a noble intention but I still think it is untruthful and not necessary.

@ N.U.

The first 8 amendments to the Constitution originally applied only to the federal government. In the 1920s, the Supreme Court began applying parts of those amendments to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment via what is called the Incorporation Doctrine.

The Court applied the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the states in Everson v. Board of Ed., 330 US 1 (1947).

I have to be honest here - I've never understood the American custom of electing legal officials. Surely that builds corruption right into the system?

Law enforcement is not, and should not be, a popularity contest. It needs stringent controls in place to detect corruption, and purge it. Otherwise, you get disgusting, heartbreaking scenarios like this, where the bodies and souls of children are sold for votes.

Oh and Porn4All - if reading about raped, brutalised children is getting you off, seek professional help.

Please, the University of Pennsylvania had nothing whatsoever to do with the Sandusky case. That occurred at Penn State. The two universities are very different institutions and are not connected in any way except for both being in Pennsylvania. I hope Asher Lipner is more accurate about the rest of the information in this piece, but this sloppy mistake undermines my confidence in his research skills.

As for my rabbinic credentials, I do not use the title Rabbi. I happen to have learned in Ner Yisroel, Mir Yerushalayim and Lakewood and have smicha from Reb Malkiel Kotler, but I do not ascribe to the Daas Torah Hashkafa. My own personal Rabbi is Rabbi Yosef Blau, the Mashgiach Ruchani of Yeshiva University. Asher Lipner From statement 8/31/11 unorthodox Jew

Smicha from Reb Malkiel Kotler????? Are you for real???? Does Reb Malkiel have smicha himself?

Ashrecha R' Asher, shezachita laasot bishvil BONAY CHAVIVAI demisaskin betzoro dilhon. Blessed are you Rabbi Asher that you have done for my BELOVED CHILDREN when they were consumed within their pain. You are truly a distinguished SOUL amongst the FEW, the BRAVE, the COURAGES and the BEST of the BEST, who stood up for the downtrodden, TAYERE FERLOYRENE NESHAMES. the poor lost and hurting souls.

yeah? '...we educated the D.A on how to
properly conduct a sex abuse trial'....

really? one thing is sure in iowa , dovid weinstein could not 'educate' judge linda reade how to conduct her sentencing .

there was no votes unvolved in iowa , therefore no interest . but in brooklyn,
it surely is . the haredi votes for the brooklyn D.A . hynes complies with the rabbi's wishes so that the molesters can walk free . no wonder hynes keeps being reelected.

what a deal ! there will never be a cure
for the haredi children , bc their community, their rabbi cover up the evidence from the beginning .

i'm so glad that sholom rubashkin trial was done in iowa , not in brooklyn .
although, his lawyers could have moved his trial in brooklyn . but it didn't happened that way . baruch hashem !

Posted by: Barry | May 18, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Excellent rationalization to excuse protection of molesters! Well done!

No Light, it's not a fixture of the entire American legal system--DAs and judges are elected in some states and appointed in others, and always appointed at the federal level (with a vote of the Senate for federal judges).

Otherwise I completely agree with you for states like New York--we don't elect our legislators to be impartial, but it is absolutely imperative that our law enforcement officials be impartial. That's very difficult when you're beholden to campaign donors and voters. In a place like Brooklyn, where one large voting bloc can sway any local election, it's impossible, as Hynes has made absolutely clear.

Posted by: MM | May 18, 2012 at 02:39 PM

Good catch on the UPenn, Penn State mix up, really sloppy writing , if he cannot get this thing right, why should I trust him in anything he writes ?.

The special treatment to the Ultra Orthodox goes beyond sex cases. If a "Frum" Yid is arrested for other crimes the Orthodox community liaison is called in as well.

Are we living in the United States or the Balkans? Don't we believe in equal justice for all regardless of one's religion?

Disbarment is in order.

@Bassy the Haredi Slayer:
'throwing out the baby with the bathwater' is how you fail it.

Thanks Elisheva. I hadn't realised it was state-dependent.

So here is a morsel from Hynes from the NY Times.

Apparently, he is feeling the heat outside the insane asylum of the frume velt.

“The level of intimidation is not found nearly as much in organized crime,” he said. “It’s extraordinary just how relentless these people can be.”

They were turning the screws on him and now he is squealing.

Get this:

He is saying the haredim, hasidim are worse than the Mafia.

He is saying the haredim, hasidim are worse than the Mafia.

Posted by: Litvish | May 19, 2012 at 03:40 PM

in a way it is true the Mafia leaves the family out of it

Sue Donim
The Internet is NOT the Problem Protest Guidelines
Location: Corner of 126th and Roosevelt AveDate / Time: 5-8pm OUR GOAL IS A PEACEFUL RALLY ...


The Fed's should prosecute Hynes and others in his office for discriminating against Jewish victims of sex abuse. It is pervasive and systematic and deprives the victimized kids of equal protection under the law.

@Steve W. - Everson v. Board of Ed., 330 US 1 (1947).

Thanks for that opinion, I'll have to read more about it because Hugo Black's words in the decision seem overly far reaching. IMHO, that's because a number of states had official religions when the Union was formed. From a quick read, I thought Everson had a good argument with the constitution's Due Process Clause.

Still and all, thanks for the education, you've given me some work to do. This is quite different from other areas of law with which I am more familiar.

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