Thursday, May 24, 2012

Prosecutor Seeks to Force Rabbis to Report on Abuse

The Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, said Wednesday that he would push for state legislation to add rabbis and other religious leaders to the list of professionals required to report allegations of sexual abuse to law enforcement authorities.

The move comes as Mr. Hynes, the city’s longest-serving district attorney, has come under intense scrutiny for his handling of sexual abuse cases in the politically powerful ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. A recent article in The New York Times showed that Mr. Hynes did not object when Agudath Israel of America, an organization representing various Hasidic and other ultra-Orthodox factions, told him last summer that it was instructing adherent Jews to get permission from a rabbi before reporting allegations of sexual abuse to the authorities.

Brooklyn is home to the largest concentration of ultra-Orthodox Jews outside of Israel. The issue of child sexual abuse has divided the community in recent years, and Mr. Hynes has become a central figure in the drama. Victims’ advocates accuse him of bending to the will of the rabbis, many of whom have long insisted that crimes like sexual abuse be handled by rabbinical authorities, who often do not report their findings to the police or prosecutors.

Criticism has continued to mount even as prosecutions by Mr. Hynes’s office have grown sharply in the last three years, a spike he and his aides credit to a program he began in 2009 to encourage ultra-Orthodox Jewish victims to report abuse. His office says the program, called Kol Tzedek, has helped lead to more than 95 indictments. Requiring clergy to report allegations of sexual abuse to law enforcement authorities would give Mr. Hynes’s office a new tool to go after rabbis who advise their followers against reporting.

“This thing has become a very, very important issue, and the question is, how do you deal with it?” Mr. Hynes said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

As of 2010, 26 states required clergy to report sexual abuse. Bills that would do the same in New York have languished in the Legislature since 2003. Some religious organizations, including the Roman Catholic Church and Agudath Israel, have opposed previous bills because they would also have required religious organizations to go into their files and turn over allegations of past abuse.

Assemblyman John J. McEneny, an Albany Democrat, first introduced such legislation in 2003 and has a current bill that would not require the reporting of past allegations. Catholic Church and Agudath officials said on Wednesday that they could support a bill of that type.

Mr. Hynes, who said he was unaware of Mr. McEneny’s bill, said he would discuss the measure with him. Mr. Hynes, who said he would work with the New York State district attorneys association to fashion a measure, said he favored a bill modeled after similar laws in New Hampshire and West Virginia, which do not require clergy to report allegations told to them in confession. Mr. Hynes is also creating a task force to crack down on witness intimidation in child sexual abuse cases in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, and has had a memorandum of understanding with the bishop of the Brooklyn Diocese since 2003 requiring Catholic priests to report allegations of abuse to his office.



Hynes wakes up too late said...

Hynes finally feels the heat and tries to cover his dereliction of duty, neglect of the law, and collusion with Charedi escape and cover up con men and shysters, as he did nothing when notorious child molester Mondrowitz fled like a dog in the night to Israel in 1985 after he was outed OVER THIRTY YEARS AGO:

From the Forward:

"Mondrowitz Escapes Another Trial

By Nathan Jeffay
Published January 20, 2010

Haifa, Israel — For several dozen Americans who say they were sexually abused as children, news from Israel on January 14 ripped the scab off a still unhealed wound. Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that Avrohom Mondrowitz, their alleged abuser, will not be extradited to stand trial in America...

Mondrowitz, an American Orthodox rabbi and psychotherapist, fled the United States in 1985, before an arrest warrant could be executed on an indictment handed down against him for child abuse. He will be released from house arrest in Jerusalem on January 24, unless the Israeli government appeals.

Survivors for Justice, a New York-based support group for Orthodox victims of sexual abuse, termed the court’s extradition decision a “travesty.”

“At the very least, the authorities in Israel should be pursuing criminal charges against Mondrowitz for recent crimes that both they and the U.S. authorities have clear and convincing evidence of,” said SFJ president Ben Hirsch.

The saga of Mondrowitz’s escape from extradition began when he was indicted in Brooklyn on multiple counts of sodomy and sexual abuse of five children...

Then, in 2007, the U.S. – Israel extradition agreement was amended to cover homosexual rape and his case was reconsidered. The Israeli government jailed him and sought an extension of his incarceration. At a hearing, prosecutors cited four pornographic films they said had been found during a search of his Jerusalem home. Judge Shimon Feinberg agreed to an extension, noting the government’s claim that Mondrowitz was “a threat to the public as evidenced by the material discovered in his home.” Mondrowitz was ultimately granted house arrest.

The Supreme Court ruled it could not apply the 2007 amendment retroactively.

Michael Lesher, a Passaic, N. J., attorney who represents six American Jews who claim Mondrowitz abused them as children, said, “We know now, which we didn’t before, just what kind of denial we are facing.

“We feel outrage, we feel bitterness and we feel rising anger that bringing Mondrowitz to justice is being resisted.”

One of the first instances in America involving ultra-Orthodox teachers and rabbis preying on their students to come to public attention, the Mondrowitz case is thought to have been prompted by complaints from more than 100 accusers, most of whom encountered Mondrowitz in the 1980s when he was practicing as a psychologist in Brooklyn.

Although Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes instituted the extradition proceedings against Mondrowitz in 2007, he has come under fire from child advocates who say he should have done so earlier.

Even Mondrowitz’s attorney, Eitan Maoz, echoed this view after the extradition ruling. He told the Jewish Star, a Long Island weekly, “In 1988, the law was amended in a way that the route to extradition was open and the district attorney was notified. But they did not do anything until 2007, when they decided to apply.”

Hynes has said that since the crime occurred before the law changed, the extradition request could not be applied retroactively.

Now, child advocates are waiting to hear whether the government will appeal the extradition ruling, issued by a limited bench of three Supreme Court justices who heard the case. The government has 45 days to decide. A single judge will then decide whether to accept the appeal. If accepted, the case would go before an expanded Supreme Court panel..."

Hynses 30 year cover up of Mondrowitz etc 1 said...

Hynes must really think that people are stupid, but he is now learning the truth of that old saying that "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you can't fool all the people all of the time" and now after over 30 years of collusion with Charedi fixers and charlatans Hynes should be thinking of quitting and hanging his head in shame and not coming up with "creative solutions" to save his sorry behind off the backs of the thousands of victims he sold down the river:

From the NY Jewish Week:

"Fight Over Mondrowitz Documents Coming To A Head

At stake in case of alleged abuser are Brooklyn DA’s actions, state’s Freedom of Information laws.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Hella Winston
Special To The Jewish Week

Next week, attorney and author Michael Lesher will argue before New York State’s highest court for the release by the Brooklyn District Attorney of documents he has been seeking since 2007, related to the failed extradition of Avrohom Mondrowitz.

Mondrowitz, an alleged serial Orthodox child molester who fled to Israel in 1984 before an arrest warrant could be executed, was indicted in absentia by a Brooklyn grand jury on 14 counts — including five counts of sodomy in the first degree — in 1985.

An attempt to extradite Mondrowitz in 1985 failed, and he remained free in Israel until he was arrested in 2007; the arrest came after a renewed extradition request following a change in the extradition treaty between Israel and the United States. After going up to the Israeli Supreme Court, that extradition attempt also failed.

At stake in this case is not only whether or not Lesher — and the public — will get to learn more about the actions of the Brooklyn DA, Charles Hynes, other U.S. and Israeli government agencies and the Orthodox community in the Mondrowitz case, but the effectiveness of New York State’s Freedom of Information laws.

Lesher, who represents several Orthodox alleged victims of Mondrowitz at no charge, believes the documents may shed light on why efforts to extradite Mondrowitz stalled for so many years and to what extent, if any, pressure from the politically powerful ultra-Orthodox community played a role.

“This record ought to show us something about what Hynes’ office was really doing while Mondrowitz’s victims struggled to have him brought back to face justice — its actions, its considerations, its motives and any outside pressures brought to bear on the D.A,” Lesher told the Jewish Week.

He added that, “It may also shed light on the real workings of the Kol Tzedek program, which yoked Hynes’ office to powerful Orthodox organizations while the Mondrowitz extradition case was pending.”

Lesher also believes that Hynes’ steadfast refusal to produce the documents indicates that the DA may be trying to hide something.

“If there’s nothing in this file to embarrass the DA, why has he fought for so long to conceal it?” Lesher asked.

Lesher’s appeal comes at a time of increasing controversy about the Brooklyn DA’s refusal to release information about the identities of 90 Orthodox child molesters his office claims to have arrested since 2009. That was the year it launched Kol Tzedek, a confidential hotline working in partnership with OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services and other Jewish nonprofits, to encourage Orthodox victims of sexual abuse to report these crimes to secular authorities."

Hynses 30 year cover of Mondrowitz etc 2 said...

"Fight Over Mondrowitz Documents Coming To A Head

At stake in case of alleged abuser are Brooklyn DA’s actions, state’s Freedom of Information laws.

Hynes has justified his refusal to release this information by invoking New York civil rights law intended to protect the privacy of victims; he has claimed that to reveal the name of an alleged perpetrator could somehow, even outside of cases of incest, identify the victim.

Legal experts have questioned the validity of this justification, and some observers speculate that the DA’s policy is politically motivated. It is aimed, critics say, at shielding the community and its institutions — as well as the DA’s office itself — from the scrutiny that could result if more information was known about these cases and how they were handled.

(Charges that Hynes treats the Orthodox community with kid gloves have dogged him for years. A 2003 Newsday article quoted a retired police captain saying, “In Brooklyn, it almost seemed like there were two penal codes, one for the Hasidic community and one for everyone else.” The DA’s office rejected the charge, saying its decisions were not politically motivated.)

A spokesman for the DA has declined to answer further questions about the policy regarding the release of the names of Orthodox molesters who have been arrested.

Lesher first became involved in the Mondrowitz case in 1998, as a journalist, when he filed Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests with several government agencies for records relating to the Mondrowitz case. He obtained from the DA a number of documents, including police reports and witness statements, redacted so as to remove identifying information about the victims.

Lesher also obtained from federal authorities — though not from the DA, who also should have had it, given he was its intended recipient — a copy of the memo sent to Hynes’ office by the Justice Department demanding to know by Sept. 15, 1993 whether the DA wanted the federal government to keep the Mondrowitz file open. Hynes’ office replied with instructions to the federal government to close the case as long as Mondrowitz remained in Israel. Lesher suspects this request came under pressure from the ultra-Orthodox community.

In October 2007, following reports that Israel’s justice ministry had received an extradition request from the Brooklyn DA, Lesher made another FOIL request seeking records of the case from 1993 to the present. One of the things Lesher hoped to discover was whether the extradition request was made in January 2007, as the DA publicly claimed, or later, after “a period of dithering or outright resistance.”

Indeed, Mondrowitz was not arrested in Israel until November 2007, just days after a major exposé about his alleged crimes and flight from justice appeared in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz."

Hynses 30 year cover up of Mondrowitz etc 3 said...

"Fight Over Mondrowitz Documents Coming To A Head

At stake in case of alleged abuser are Brooklyn DA’s actions, state’s Freedom of Information laws.

Hynes denied Lesher’s FOIL request, claiming that because the treaty had changed and extradition was now a possibility, the case had become an “active prosecution,” which exempted disclosure of the documents under FOIL.

After Hynes’ denial, a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge granted Lesher access specifically to the correspondence related to Mondrowitz’s extradition. However, an appellate panel unanimously reversed this decision, agreeing with the DA that the release of the documents could interfere with an ongoing investigation and identify victims of a sex crime, “even though redaction might remove all details which ‘tend to identify the victim[s]’.”

Then, in what the New York Law Journal pointed out was what a highly unusual move, the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, agreed to hear Lesher’s case.

At his appearance next week, Lesher will argue that by permitting a law enforcement agency to withhold any and all documents “that may have something to do with the target of a possible future prosecution,” the Appellate Division has created an entirely new justification for withholding information under FOIL.” This is of particular concern because, as Lesher argues, FOIL “mandates liberal disclosure of documents to the public.”

Indeed, according to Robert Freedman, the executive director of the Department of State Committee on Open Government, “Even if it can successfully be argued that the extradition materials were compiled for a law enforcement purpose, in consideration of changes in circumstances [the now closed extradition case], it may be difficult for the DA to prove that disclosure at this juncture would in some way be damaging.”

In fact, last month the New York Civil Liberties Union filed an amicus brief in support of Lesher’s appeal, arguing, in essence, that agencies have an obligation — already recognized by the high court — to redact and release, rather than withhold, documents. The brief further notes that permitting agencies to make blanket assertions of FOIL exemptions without demonstrating how the release of specific records would be damaging is inconsistent with the Court’s earlier rulings.

While Lesher is hoping to prevail in order to learn more about how the Mondrowitz case was handled, those concerned with Freedom of Information laws also consider this to be a very important matter.

Indeed, according to Freedman, “reconsideration by the Court of Appeals of the statue that forbids the disclosure of the entirety of a record that identifies a victim of a sex offense would be welcomed by many. In too many instances that statute has served to protect defendants, which clearly could not have been its intent.” "

Anonymous said...

JWB says:

Hynes is the New York District Attorney that brought his mentor/former boss/current advisor convicted/confessed child rapist Eugene Gold to Hynes' inaguration and publicly honored him years after Gold's confession and conviction in regard to multiple sex assaults on a 10 year old girl. Gold remained Hynes advisor for decades after this and appears to still be.

In 1983 former NY District Attorney Eugene Gold was charged with the rape of the 10 year old daughter of an Alabama district attorney while, according to the girl's father, two other children, children of another district attorney, were present. Gold faced a minimum sentence of 20 years on the aggravated rape charge. Instead Gold plead guilty to lesser sexual molestation charges and acknowledged that he sexually assaulted the 10 year old girl on an additional occasion. The plea agreement was touted as saving the 10 year old girl the trauma of testifying at trial. Gold only received probation and moved to Israel where he was to get counselling. Sound familiar?

This is the monster that Hynes has associated himself and the current office of the New York District Attorney with. Gold used to hold Hynes job.

Understand who Hynes is? A protector of pedophiles. The pedophiles and their protectors have Hynes ear. Hynes is in their pocket.

Here's Hynes inaguration speech wher District Attorney Charles J. Hynes publicly honored confessed/convicted pedophile Eugene Gold (square brackets have been added by me):
In the same year a prominent New York City trial lawyer [pedophile Eugene Gold] was chosen to run for the office of Kings County District Attorney. During his [Gold] campaign, he [Gold] added one word to that slogan, which came to embody the goals of his [Gold] administration and mine [Hynes]. The word was Justice, and so his [Gold] campaign promise, which he [Gold] later fulfilled became; Law and Order with Justice. He [Gold] was my [Hynes] mentor for the six years I was fortunate to serve in his [Gold] Office, and he [Gold] has been one of my [Hynes]most important advisers ever since. Please welcome the three term former District Attorney of Kings County, Eugene Gold.

Hynes has been protecting Orthodox pedophiles for decades. Rabbi Yehuda Kolko got the same deal Rabbi Lewis/Lipa Brenner got a decade earlier, no jail time and their names were not put on the public sex offender registry. This is the same sort of deal Hynes' advisor Gold negotiated for himself.

Send a message to Charles Hynes and the rest of the "fixers" in Brooklyn who have protected Brooklyn's pedophiles for decades. It isn't 1983 anymore and child rapists belong in jail not as honored guests at the DA's innauguration ceremony. Vote Hynes out of office in 2013. End his pedophile protecting legacy once and for all. Hynes must go.

Anytime you see a news article with Hynes name, feel free to post this in the comments.

Matisyahu Pickwick Salomon said...

As previously posted on the UOJ blog:

"The Life and Times of Matisyahu Pickwick Salomon 1 said... (October 18, 2011)

"Lakewood said...R' Matt Salamon has a shita that he does not read any letter that was posted to him on the internet."

With every utterance by Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon, the mashgiach of the Lakewood Yeshiva, it becomes very clear that here is a chap so utterly out of touch and out of his depth that it's both very funny and not funny at all when one considers that this bloke's views sway many simple and gullible folk in the Torah world.

He is so English and Old Europe that one can only imagine that he surely has his food cooked only in a coal-heated oven and that he travels around in a horse coach on old cobbled streets. He is literally from a different era when polite women curtsied to higher ups, stayed home and sewed and cooked and had babies galore, and personally washed the laundry and darned their husbands' socks.

There is of course no technology or modern machinery no matter how standard in Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon's Charles Dickens world. No electricity. No telephones. No washing machines. No cars. No planes. People sail in rickety sail ships if they need to get to America or just cross the Channel to get from London to Berlin. Trains have not been invented yet in Rabbi Salomon's world, he travels only by horse and buggy and ox wagons.

When he learns, it is in musty rooms with no such thing as air conditioning, just lots of wax candles at night that wreak havoc with the eyes (and lungs). It gets cold at night with no gas or electric or oil heating when the log wood-powered stoves' ashes finally crumble by midnight inside the innards of those flimsy cast iron stoves, that cause the occasional burns to those who get too close (Hatzala has not been invented because they travel in cars on Shabbos with their sirens blaring and lights flashing).

Such is life in Rabbi Matisyahu's world. His house is a rickety wood structure because he hates modern synthetic materials and would never allow it to be wired for anything! His yeshiva building is likewise made of mud and thatch, just like the holy Chofetz Chaim used to live in good old Radin in der heim, with straw mattresses on earthen floors, because that's how yeshiva students slept for millennia and he hates the idea of modern foam or healthy orthopedic rubber mattresses.

This is the man who was imported from the quaint Gateshead Yeshiva located in the decayed backwaters of merry old England where his claim to fame was that he was also the mashgiach of that nice little yeshiva with an unclear enrollment of maybe 100 or so blokes at the best of times. Does anyone really know.....or care? Anyhow, on with our tale worthy of Dickens's Pickwick

They are not stupid those Kotlers of Lakewood they were not going to be upstaged but since they are all totally functionally illiterate in English (and proud of it too) and not one of them or their extended family can utter a sentence or make a speech in normal English without reverting to yeshivish slang babble (but they know how to read modern bank statements that add up the numbers for you), they knew that if they wanted to improve on the last mashgiach that their granddaddy Aaron had hand-picked, Rabbi Nosson Wachtfogel zt"l who mumbled in Yiddish and was utterly unintelligible, that maybe went across when Lakewood started in the 1940s with 5 Yiddish speakers at least, but that kind of mashgiach would never fly with modern-day American-born English-speaking yeshiva-leit, so they hit on the brainwave to reach across the Atlantic to hire Rabbi Matisyahu Solomon who could speak the queen's English but would never really pose a threat to them while he spoke a good game to defend the Lakewood yeshiva creed.

October 18, 2011"