Brooklyn's District Attorney Charles Hynes talks to reporters about the conviction of Rabbi Nechemya Weberman, the courage and strength of the victim, and hasidic harassment of victims and their supporters.
Originally published at 11:22 pm CST 12-10-2012
Brooklyn D.A. Charles Hynes praises the Crown Heights Beis Din for issuing a ruling last year that said there is no prohibition of mesira, informing, in cases of child sexual abuse.
But the fact is that the beit din was not actually in session when the beit din was supposed to meet with victims and hear their stories. Instead, only two judges were present. (Three are necessary for any official proceeding to take place.) One didn't understand what sexual abuse was, and it had to explained to him several times in Yiddish by Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg. Those two rabbi-judges signed a letter on the beit din letterhead.
For those of you familiar with these things, this is a less than perfect result that leaves some loopholes for those who want to use them to protect alleged pedophiles.
And, unfortunately, in Crown Heights, plenty of people seem to want to do that. Some Chabad figures like Rabbi Shea Hecht will occasionally rush to report a non-Chabad, non-Crown Heights pedophile to the DA's office, but do nothing about the Chabad pedophiles that run loose in Crown Heights itself. Most other Chabad rabbis opt do nothing about either group of pedophiles.
In other words, Hynes is placing much too much faith in that beit din letter.
But he is right about one thing – no beit dins in Williamsburg or Borough Park – not even a couple beit din rabbis meeting informally – have issued any rulings removing the prohibition of mesira from child sexual abuse cases.
[Hat Tip: Burich.]