Above: Marc Gafni
The New York Daily News has a long (for it) exposé on ex-rabbi Marc Gafni, who has a string of women who claim Gafni abused them. The first cases of abuse took place in the 1970s, the most recent just a handful of years ago. The earlier victims were 13 and 16 years old when Gafni allegedly molested them. More recent victims were often the wives of his close followers. Gafni's most recent wife was also victimized by Gafni's long string of marital infidelities during their relatively brief marriage.
Gafni's first known (alleged) victim told the Daily News Gafni hasn't changed in more than three decades.
“He’s still out there,” said the woman who made the first charge. “And he’s still the same guy who molested a 13-year-old. He’s not a different person.”
Gafni's second alleged victim, Judy Mitzner, recounts what she says Gafni did to her so long ago:
It started with compliments and extra attention, eventually leading to the night when the rabbi appeared in her basement bedroom.
“You look like you need a hug,” he told her.
Gafni wound up on top of the stunned 16-year-old, his hands wandering under her nightgown, despite her repeated protestations, Mitzner said.
Their second encounter went further, with Gafni removing their clothes before he “took my hand and forced me to help him climax. I had never even seen a man naked before.”
Mitzner said the abuse left her suicidal, and Gafni made her promise to stay silent. When the terrified teen spoke out, she recalled, her parents put the blame on her.
Gafni charged that Mitzner spun her story from “20 minutes of fooling around” — and claims he spurned her invitation to sleep together.
“A one-time mistake,” he claimed. “There’s a difference between a mistake and predatory (behavior).”
Mitzner, who has told the same story for decades, said she was not surprised by Gafni’s subsequent success as a spiritualist, speaker and author — while she lives burdened by the past.
“Basically, he’s your typical narcissistic sociopath,” said Mitzner. “He’s got the charisma, he’s got the intelligence, to rebuild, re-create and reinvent himself.”
You'll recognize many of the facts in the Daily News article from their earlier reporting by the New York Times and Tablet Magazine, and from what was reported before that blogs, including this one. The Daily News doesn't cite either the Times or Tablet, even though their reporting was published only days ago – a kind of journalistic theft that is all to common (and which, admittedly, the Times is also guilty of).
That said, you can read Gafni's latest denials and a strong recounting of the evidence against him here.