Monday, April 12, 2010
KINGS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY CHARLES J. HYNES ANNOUNCES A 32-YEAR SENTENCE FOR BOROUGH PARK RABBI!
KINGS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY CHARLES J. HYNES ANNOUNCES A 32-YEAR SENTENCE FOR BOROUGH PARK RABBI CONVICTED OF SEXUALLY ABUSING A 16-YEAR-OLD BOY!
Brooklyn, April 12, 2010 – Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes today announced the sentencing of Baruch Lebovits, to 10-and-two-thirds to 32 years in prison for sexually abusing a 16-year-old boy on eight occasions in 2004 and 2005.
On March 8, Lebovits was convicted of eight counts of Criminal Sexual Act in the Third Degree, a Class-E Felony. Today he was sentenced to the maximum sentence on each count, one-and-a-third to four years, to run consecutively, for a total of 10-and-two-thirds to 32 years.
The victim knew Lebovits as a rabbi and prominent businessman in the Borough Park community, where they both lived.
Lebovits is also charged in two other cases of sexual assaults on minors. Those cases are pending.
The case was prosecuted by Miss Gregory, First Deputy Bureau Chief in the Sex Crimes Bureau. Rhonnie Jaus is Chief of the Sex Crimes Bureau.
Speech By Father of Lebovits Victim to Sentencing Judge
by Yerachmiel Lopin on 04/12/2010
Below is the prepared text that the father of the victim shared with me yesterday and delivered to the judge in Brooklyn a few minutes ago. I will announce sentencing as soon it happens. The text has has been edited to remove names and other identifying information.
"I would like to thank the judge, The Honorable Patricia M. Di Mango, for giving me the opportunity to speak at the sentencing of Baruch Mordechai Lebovits.
King David wrote: ”I thank G-d with my whole heart in the assembly of the upright” (Psalms 111:1). There is no more righteous place than where justice is done and executed. The prophet Isaiah said, “Zion should be redeemed through justice. I would like to thank the Honorable Justice Di Mango for conducting the trial with truth and dignity. I have to admit that I had my doubts about the outcome, but I know that if you have truth on your side justice will prevail. As Shakespeare said: “The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is”.
I want to thank Ms. Gregory and her staff and the DA’s office for endless hard work and sleepless nights to bring this case to trial regardless of the dark clouds, She directed those clouds at Mr. Lebovits so the sun should shine again on my son. It is said that in every dark place there is a spark of light that is called hope.
I thank Detective Steve for his tireless work and the fact the he was always available to us 24/7. I also want to thank Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg and the father of another victim. Without you I would not be here today. You were like Pinchus in the Bible.
I want to thank my wonderful parents and family who stood fast in the biggest crises facing them in and out of the community for giving our son emotional support, a hug, a laughter and sometimes, a tear. You kids are all standing tall as victory marches on and history was made.
It is said that you leave the best for the last. And so my beloved son, my heart is always with you. We are one soul in two bodies bonded forever. I am very proud of you as are all your friends, family and all those who took part in this case. You had the courage to bring to the authorities that evil man, who is a rabbi and a prominent businessman with many connections to top leaders in the community. You refused to be bribed to drop the case. You were subjected to mud slinging and character assassination in front of the entire community as you testified in the witness chair. But you persevered because you had one thing on your side and that is the truth.
The holy book The Zohar states that “Truth stands on its own feet and lies do not stand.” And so the jury gave it’s verdict siding with the truth.
My son, with your courage to come forward you made history, helping to put away this evil man. You made the community safer for other children. Martin Luther King Jr. said “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor. It must be demanded by the oppressed.”
I want to look this evil a man in his eyes.
What this man did is not some tale or script in a horror movie. It is a real horror story of a man who lived in our community, was trusted by the children and the people. He went on to ruin so many innocent lives just to serve his own selfish sick pleasures. I ask you Mordechai Lebovits, where is your soul? After you had your sick fun you discarded these innocent children like trash. You wished to see them completely destroyed so they would not be able to testify against you. You never showed or had any remorse.
You tried to destroy our son and his testimony by bringing in a rabbi, Berel Ashkenazi, who himself is a alleged child molester, to testify on your behalf. But you just dug a deeper hole for yourself. As King David wrote “He who dug a pit has fallen into the ditch which he made. (Psalms 7:16).
But you cannot escape from the hands of G-D. Our son pulled himself out of the pit that you dug for him. He will go on with his life and G-D will give him strength and success while you will rot in a pit. .
Now, let me turn my attention and address the Lebovits family, friends and the so-called rabbis. You are not innocent either. You share the same guilt that Mordechai Lebovits does. You are just as guilty as he is because you all knew who he was, what he was doing and how he was destroying so many innocent children for years. You all came to support him while smirking and laughing at our son as he bravely testified.
Our great Sages said that the one who sees someone committing evil and is silent is just as guilty as the evil perpetrator and gets the same punishment from G-D as the evildoer. There were rabbis who called me form Israel and asked me not to prosecute him and just let him off the hook for his family’s sake. I told them that there is nothing in the Bible or the Talmud that tells us that justice should not be served for the sake of the family of the criminal. I ask those who pleaded mercy for this man, did Mordechai Lebovits ever have mercy on the children he molested? Did he ever ask for their forgiveness for ruining their lives?
I would like to give you a summary of a quote from the Chief Rabbi Strenbuch of the ultra-Orthodox Rabbinical Court in Jerusalem (II:627). “It is not only allowed to bring the criminal to the authorities but it is a command to hand over such a person to the authorities. By handing him to the authorities you will eliminate desecration of G-D. There is no greater desecration of G-D than allowing a criminal like this to escape justice.”
I have a message for all those children molested by this or any other evil man and to their families. It took a long time for this man to be brought to justice, but as a Russian poet once wrote “Justice is like a train that always arrives late”. It is better late than never. Don’t be afraid to bring a perpetrator to justice.
In conclusion, I would like to ask the Honorable Justice Patricia M. Di Mango to impose the maximum sentence for the crimes committed by Mordechai Lebovits as he inflicted maximum suffering on his innocent victims with no remorse.
Thank you very much Justice Di Mango. May G-D bless you and G-D bless America!"