Sunday, December 05, 2010
Former Yeshiva Principal Sought on Abuse Charges!
Dec 5, 2010, 7:00 pm: For Immediate Release
To show Jewish community support for prosecution of sex offenders and avert any possible plea bargain without prison time for notorious sex offender, Meir Dascalowitz. Dascalowitz is scheduled to appear in Kings County Supreme Court on Wednesday, December 8, 9:00 am. He is charged with 200 felony counts of criminal sexual activity with a child under 15 years of age.
When: Monday, Dec. 6, 3:00 pm
Where: in front of the Kings County Office of the District Attorney: 350 Jay St. Brooklyn, NY 11201
Dr. Asher Lipner, Executive Vice President, Jewish Board of Advocates for Children
Joel Engelman, Co-Founder Jewish Survivors Network
Mrs. Pearl Engelman, Mother of a victim of sexual abuse
And others TBA
JSafe: The Jewish Institute Supporting an Abuse-Free Environment
Jewish Board of Advocates for Children
Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg (Advocate for Victims of Sex Abuse and blogger of Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg’s Hotline);
The Voice of Justice
Jewish Parents for Safe Yeshivos
On May 11, 2010 Meir Dascalowitz (pictured above), a hasidic Jew who lived in Williamsburg was arrested by the New York City Police for molesting a boy under 15 every month for over a half a year in a ritual bath in Williamsburg. According to the NYS database, webcrims, he was booked on the basis of 200! felony charges of criminal sexual activity with a minor under 15 years of age (PL 130.45 01). There were additional misdemeanor charges. (Kings County Supreme Court: case # 04054-2010). When Dascalowitz was arrested he voluntarily confessed to assaulting many boys. The DA is also aware of corroborating medical evidence.
The victim’s parents have cooperated with the police in Brooklyn’s Sex Crimes Unit and the Office of the Kings County District Attorney in seeking justice to protect their own child and other children from this monstrous predator. Dascalowitz’s enablers and supporters have conducted a campaign of harassment to force the parents to drop their case. The parents of the victim have been steadfast. They have endured being thrown out of their synagogue; a scurrilous campaign of innuendo, and other acts of attempted witness intimidation, which are being investigated by the DA’s Office.
Ultra Orthodox Jews are no longer willing to cover up sex abuse in their communities. The victim’s parents are part of a trend in the orthodox world to cooperate more closely with the criminal justice system in flushing out these monsters.
Around Dec 1, 2010 the parents of the victim had a phone conversation with the DA’s office; they informed the parents that the DA was contemplating entering a plea bargain. The terms of this proposed plea bargain might include probation WITHOUT ANY JAIL TIME. It is not even clear if the gravity of the charges were to be reflected in the guilty plea and whether Dascalowitz would be classified as a registered sex offender, and thereafter placed on the public Megan's Law sex offender registry. The parents rightfully consider this potential plea bargain a miscarriage of justice, a hindrance to their son’s recovery from his abuse, a slap in the face of their steadfast persistence in pursuing this case, and an act that would endanger children in Williamsburg. A plea bargain is not necessary. The evidence is strong. Dascalowitz has confessed, and there is physical evidence in addition to the victim’s accounts.
We respectfully urge the Kings County District Attorney to reject the possibility of such a plea bargain. If such a plea bargain is offered by the DA, we respectfully ask the presiding judge, the Honorable Danny K Chun, to refuse to accept it. Through separate communications we are urging concerned citizens of all faiths to communicate with the District Attorney’s office to persuade him to reverse the position communicated by his office.
For Media Information and to schedule interviews, Contact: Joel Engelman 347-415-3799
Former Yeshiva Principal Sought on Abuse Charges
By KAREEM FAHIM and AL BAKER
Published: December 3, 2010 - THE NEW YORK TIMES
A former Brooklyn yeshiva principal and three of his sons sexually abused four of the principal’s other children, molesting one of the victims over 15 years, the authorities said Friday.
The police are still looking for the man, Rabbi Gershon Kranczer, 58, and one of his sons, Asher Kranczer, 21, who they believe fled to Israel earlier this week. Another son, Yechezkel Kranczer, 24, turned himself in to the police on Thursday and has been charged with 70 counts of sexual abuse and 2 counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
The third son, a 15-year-old whose name was withheld by the authorities, was brought in for questioning on Wednesday, made statements implicating himself in the abuse and was arrested, said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman.
The authorities believe the abuse occurred in a three-story house in Midwood, Brooklyn, that Rabbi Kranczer shared with his wife and 12 of his 14 children. Neighbors said the family had lived in the house for more than 20 years. A law enforcement official said the house had a large kitchen and several bunk beds.
Mr. Browne said the situation came to light after one of the children, who works as a teacher’s aide at a yeshiva, told a colleague about the abuse on Monday. The colleague contacted the authorities, Mr. Browne said.
He said that Rabbi Kranczer and his son Asher flew from Kennedy International Airport to Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv on Monday, possibly because they had learned the authorities were investigating. Law enforcement officials said that Rabbi Kranczer and Asher, who is legally blind, were driven to the airport by Rabbi Kranczer’s wife, whom the police did not identify by name.
Yechezkel Kranczer married recently and had moved out of the home, the authorities said.
The authorities said no one in the family had prior criminal records.
On Friday afternoon, a teenage child emerged from the house carrying a duffle bag, walked past crates of household items on the porch and disappeared down the street without commenting.
Neighbors painted a picture of a family struggling financially, and said two of the children had learning disabilities. But they said that they were shocked at the accusations and that the children seemed outwardly happy. “Impossible,” said one, Sol Borger, 60, who lives across the street. “I don’t believe it.”
Mr. Borger said he and Rabbi Kranczer attended the same synagogue and had gone to each other’s weddings. “The kindest, most helpful people you’d ever want to meet,” he said. “I’d sooner believe Mayor Bloomberg did it.” Mr. Borger said “children’s services” visited the house years ago, but he believed nothing came of any accusations.
A spokeswoman for the Administration for Children’s Services would not comment on any visits to the home because of the investigation. She said the agency was in the process of taking some of the children from the house and was “working to ensure the safety of all the children.”
There were conflicting accounts of the school that Rabbi Kranczer ran until three months ago, when the police say he resigned from his post for unknown reasons. State records indicate he was the principal of a school with a few dozen students called the Mesorah School. The records give the address as the rabbi’s house. But neighbors said the school, for disabled children, was called Yeshiva Tehila L’Dovid and was a few blocks away from the house. On the porch of the Kranczer home, a mailed copy of the Flatbush Jewish Journal was addressed to Yeshiva Tehila L’Dovid.
The police said they were not aware of any victims outside the family.