Former Satmar Principal Pleads Not Guilty To Child Abuse
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
A former principal of a Satmar yeshiva pleaded not guilty today to slapping a child hard enough to cause swelling and bruises to the area around the child’s eye, his ear and parts of his face, the Journal News reported.
Rabbi Meilech Spitzer, who was the principal at Satmar’s United Talmudical Academy in Spring Valley until after the beating, was arraigned on misdemeanor counts of third-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
Spitzer pleaded not guilty.
Spitzer was arrested in February but the arraignment was delayed because the Rockland County District Attorney's Office says it needs a signed criminal complaint by the 10-year-old boy to prosecute.
District Attorney Thomas Zugibe alleges that without that signed criminal complaint, the case amounts to hearsay and can’t be prosecuted.
Zugibe told media today that the boy’s family is still not cooperating with the police or prosecutors.
According to the Journal News, the legal deadline for the boy to sign the criminal complaint is 90 days from today.
“In all these cases involving kids we expect their parents to protect them. Anyone who works in any school is a mandated reporter. If they see or suspect any abuse of any kind it’s their mandated job to report it. Without that pressure from the family and mandated reporters, I am very worried about not only this child but others,” Rockland Social Services Commissioner Susan Sherwood told the Journal News.
The boy’s family have allegedly been harassed and threatened by haredi community members, but Zugibe has done nothing to try to stop that obstruction of justice.
After the court session ended, several hasidic men reportedly stopped reporters from talking to Spitzer or photographing him. They covered Spitzer's head with a jacket and used their hats to block cameras.
The attack on the bou was reported by a physician, not by the child's parents or the school.
[Hat Tip: Devorah.]