Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Jewish coach at yeshiva culled nude pix from boys - cops say!


Coach culled nude pix from boys, cops say Monday, July 21, 2008

RIVER EDGE — A former middle school basketball coach convinced at least four teenage boys into taking naked pictures of themselves by claiming that a group of blackmailers already had nude shots of the boys and their families, authorities said today.

Adam Melzer, 34, of Teaneck, told the former Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey students that the blackmailers used telephoto lenses to shoot the boys naked in their homes, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said.

Melzer, who was a basketball coach at the school, told the boys the only way to prevent the group from publishing the photos was for the boys to take naked pictures of themselves with digital cameras that Melzer supplied, Molinelli said.

Melzer claimed he would forward these pictures onto the blackmailing crew, and the crew members would in return give him the pictures they had taken of the boys and their families, authorities said.

All four boys took photographs of themselves and gave them to Melzer.

Joseph Macellaro, chief of detectives for the Prosecutor’s Office, said he was unsure of how many photos Melzer collected.

“He used his position of authority and respect to gain access to very personal photographs,” Molinelli said Monday.

School and law enforcement officials said Melzer told the ruse to two separate pairs of boys in 2006 and 2007. All four, who were between the ages of 14 and 16 at the time, were recent graduates of the Kinderkamack Road school.

Melzer, who had been their basketball coach while they were students, took them on as volunteer referees after graduation, authorities said.

The school’s dean, Rabbi Schmuel Goldstein, said he was shocked by the allegations and described Melzer as popular and well-liked. Melzer was a coach the past four years and had already decided not to return next year for scheduling reasons, Goldstein said.

“There were never any accusations while he was coach,” Goldstein said. “Certainly if there were any concerns we would’ve responded quickly.”

Melzer, who is married, turned himself into county authorities Friday at the Prosecutor’s Office’s office in Paramus, authorities said.

He was released after posting $50,000 bail, authorities said. Melzer is charged with four counts of child endangerment and is scheduled to appear in Municipal Court this afternoon, authorities said.

Calls made to his Briarcliff Road home were not immediately returned Monday.

Molinelli said Melzer also told his victims that the fictitious crew also sought pictures of the boys’ sisters and mothers in various states of undress.

The investigation began recently after one set of victims heard the other set speaking about the Melzer incident. All four are now high school students, though authorities wouldn’t specify at which schools.

“It’s definitely out of the ordinary. I haven’t seen this before,” the prosecutor said. “But in the area of sexual predators, I’m never surprised.”

E-mail: tsai@northjersey.com


Yeshivat Ohr Yerushalayim said...


Yeshivat Ohr Yerushalayim’s Annual Scholarship Dinner will be held on Motzai Shabbat Feb. 24, 2007. For the third straight year the Dinner will be held in the beautiful hall at the Roemer Shul in Teaneck, NJ.

The Yeshiva is proud to announce this year’s Honorees:

Rabbi Josh Blass- Rabbinical Service Award
Josh attended the Yeshiva in 1991 and has gone on to fill a number of Rabbinic and educational positions. He is currently the rabbi at Kehillas Bais Yehuda in Wesley Hills, NY.

Adam Melzer- Alumni Service Award
Adam attended the Yeshiva in 1993 and has helped the Yeshiva with entertainment and his speaking skills at various Yeshiva functions.

Invitations have already been mailed out. To find out more about the Honorees and get directions to the Roemer shul, please click here.

Adam Melzer attended Yeshivat Ohr Yerushalayim in 1992-93. Afterwards, Adam attended Yeshiva University where he was a History major. He then went on to St John's Law School and practiced law for 6 years. Currently, Adam serves as the Vice President of Corporate and Group Marketing for Traveler's Choice in Manhattan.

Adam's interests include learning, Jewish music and basketball. The focal point for Adam's learning the past 5+ years has been the daf yomi due to Adam's story regarding 9/11 (article in the Jewish Observer/Siyum Hashas Commemorative Magazine) which was reprinted on the Ohr Yerushalayim website. In Jewish music, Adam has worked with the Neginah Orchestra, JM in the AM and as a concert producer for quite a number of years. Adam's interest in basketball became realized in coaching which began with his coaching Ohr Yerushalayim's basketball and football teams when Adam was at the Yeshiva. Since then, Adam has coached at HAFTR, YNJ and at the Heschel school.

Lauren and Adam Melzer reside in Teaneck, New Jersey. They have been married for 10 years and have 3 children, Alexandra (age 7), Reuben (age 5) and Judah (age 5 months). Lauren attended Midreshet Lindenbaum in 1992-93 and then attended Barnard where she majored in psychology and minored in Art. She then went to Ferkauf completing her course work towards a clinical psychology degree and is in the midst of pursuing that degree.

Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office said...


Superior Court Judge Harry Carroll set Melzer’s bail at $50,000 with no 10-percent option and the suspect was ordered to have no contact with the victims or their families.

NCSY division of OU said...


We provided the funding for Adam Melzer's events.

Boruch said...

His wife has a degree in clinical psych and couldn't tell that her husband was sick. What did they talk about at home, the weather? As the ADA said, when it comes to this nothing is surprising.


Why can't the community find out who the boys were and HONOR them for being mekayem the mitzvah of Lo Saamod Al Dam Reyecha and turning this guy over to the police. Teach people a lesson that victims should not be ashamed or afraid to do the right thing, but should be proud and know that they are heroes for coming forward and our Jewish community will thank them and reward them?

UOJ, is there any way this could be arranged? Do you know people who know people in Teaneck?

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

I have many friends in Teaneck. I'm certain they will do right for these kids. May they go from strength to strength in fighting evil, and protecting their community.

Anonymous said...

Why reward the boys? They are lying. Or at least one is lying and coerced the others to corroborate. Adam and family s/b getting the chizuk. Not the kids. Maybe, and if, they get to Israel next year, they can all learn some yiddishkeit. And, that honesty is the best policy.

Boruch said...

Anonymous 10:21 07/27/2008,
By extension your comment suggests that anyone who accuses another of a criminal act or an immoral act is to be prejudged a liar as no Jew could ever be involved in such things. So no Jew was ever involved in any criminal act or any immoral act? Maybe you need a Jewish education? Israel is not the place to go to learn Yiddishkeit. You need to have some background before going there otherwise you can hang out on Coney Island Avenue or some other American island of ineptitude.
If honesty is truly your best policy then as any judge of character you'll wait until all the parties have presented their side of the story. It's disconcerting, sometimes, that you can't run trials over the blogs and that the accusers won't gratify us with intimate details. But this is a family blog and government frowns on that.
The reporting of an event, however heinous, is not the judgement handed down over the event. Newspapers and journalists report the news - sensationalized or otherwise. It's up to responsible and educated adults to seperate fact from spin. I am presupposing that you take political positions with the appropriate grain of salt, and therefore forgive you regarding your lapse here.

Anonymous said...

I know of another sordid story with this guy.