Friday, January 10, 2014

For nearly two decades, Mr. Lehman operated three branches of a music and dance school, The Early Ear, on the Upper East and West Sides of Manhattan. The schools offered classes for children from 4 months to 5 years old...

Music Teacher Pleads Guilty to Molesting 9-Year-Old Student

We encourage curiosity and imagination in a child, awaken a love for music and dance and make it part of their life. Our unique program nurtures the love of arts and the invaluable social, aural and motor skills developed at an early age.  Since 1992, our classes have served more than 20,000 NYC children and their families. Highly-skilled and educated music teachers introduce the magical world of music to children. Our age-appropriate classes are fun, interactive and educational. Babies, toddlers and little kiddies meet and learn about many musical instruments along the way and imitate their teacher in making music ensembles with friends.  We also offer a dance and pre-ballet program for ages 2.5 to 5 years. Kids are introduced to basic movement principles through creative play. Using their imagination, children are encouraged to express themselves through dance and are given the opportunity to imitate their teacher and create solo dances at the end of class.
A 71-year-old music teacher who ran three music schools for children in Manhattan admitted in court on Thursday that he had molested a 9-year-old girl under his tutelage, pleading guilty to forcible sexual conduct against a child in return for a two-year sentence, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said.
The teacher, Ilya Lehman, a naturalized citizen from Russia, admitted to Justice Jill Konviser in State Supreme Court in Manhattan that he had touched the girl’s genitals on two occasions in April 2013 during private piano lessons at the girl’s home on the Upper West Side. Mr. Lehman will be formally sentenced on Feb. 25 at 9:30 a.m.
“Mr. Lehman himself does not fully understand how it came about that he engaged in this conduct,” said his defense lawyer, Raymond R. Granger. (Gotta love these shysters!)
 “But he is deeply, deeply remorseful about it.”
In addition to the two years in prison, Mr. Lehman will be sentenced to five years of probation after he is released, under a deal with prosecutors.
In October, an assistant district attorney, Nahal Batmanghelidj, said investigators had identified two other victims. But no charges were filed, and during Mr. Lehman’s bail hearings and other court appearances, prosecutors presented no evidence that he had molested other students.
For nearly two decades, Mr. Lehman operated three branches of a music and dance school, The Early Ear, on the Upper East and West Sides of Manhattan. The schools offered classes for children from 4 months to 5 years old and were modeled, he said, on a program he created in the former Soviet Union. He has a doctorate in music from a conservatory in Moscow and founded the schools in 1992. He sold them after his arrest last year.
Mr. Lehman will remain free on $300,000 bail until his sentencing. He has surrendered his passport and wears a monitoring bracelet on his ankle.
After the girl’s parents first confronted him with the allegations, Mr. Lehman returned to Russia, made a brief trip back to New York, then flew back to Russia again. He was arrested on July 15 at Kennedy International Airport when he returned after three months.


Boro Park said...

Sanford Solny is a disbarred lawyer


January 12, 2014

Fighting Jewish Slumlords Isn't Anti-Semitic

By Elise Goldin

Menachem Stark’s death and the media’s inflammatory response to it highlight a particular kind of anti-Semitism: the kind that can emerge as a result of the religious Jewish community’s involvement in real estate and the horrible living conditions in many of those buildings.

As a tenant organizer at the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, I work alongside tenants citywide to form tenant associations and improve building conditions. I was shocked by the headlines describing Stark’s murder, but not surprised, unfortunately, by the shady business practices or lack of upkeep on the large stock of rent-stabilized buildings he was connected to in Brooklyn. That’s something I see all too often.

Through my work, I do a great deal of research to try and untangle the mess of who owns what property and who’s connected to whom in the real estate industry. And it’s not easy. Take 199 Lee Avenue, an address in the religious Jewish part of Williamsburg. It’s connected to literally hundreds and hundreds of distressed buildings. Entities with an address at 199 Lee touch all sides of any real estate deal — as owners, mortgagers, brokers — and it’s nearly impossible to connect the address to an actual person.

Stark’s death, and the resulting uproar, comes at a particularly interesting time for my coworkers and me, since we’re in the midst of planning a tenant-driven rally in Borough Park, an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood in Brooklyn. The rally is targeting a group of Jewish investors who are trying to flip two horribly distressed rent-stabilized buildings in Crown Heights. Like at 199 Lee Avenue, the investors are nameless — associated only with a P.O. Box in Borough Park that is associated with many other distressed properties in Brooklyn and Queens.

UHAB has been organizing for years with tenants at 230-232 Schenectady, which are in foreclosure. The buildings are actually falling down as tenants continue to reside in them. They are totally infested with rats, have leaks and mold, and there have been three electrical fires in the past two years. Oddly enough, the tenants actually won in their organizing campaign in March of 2012: the buildings’ mortgages were purchased by a tenant-approved non-profit group, The Mutual Housing Association of New York, which plans to rehab the buildings and keep them permanently affordable for current residents.

Now, though, the Jewish owner of the building (he actually illegally purchased it from another Jewish landlord) is further stalling the foreclosure. He’s attempting to market the buildings to investors, pay off MHANY, and make some money before he’s out of the deal. We’ve found out that their broker is Sanford Solny, but that’s about it. We know they’re from Borough Park, so basically we’re pretty sure they’re Jewish. Solny has essentially told us that he hopes for the deal to be “between friends” in the community. This deal is shady and morally wrong, much like the deals that Menachem Stark was involved in.

It’s entirely possible that the public will view our upcoming rally as anti-Semitic. But how else can we ask the nameless Jewish investors of Borough Park to stay out of 230-232 Schenectady?

The media firestorm around Menachem Stark’s death, along with the planned rally for 230 and 232 Schenectady, underscores the tension that results from poor living conditions and opaque real estate deals that happen behind closed doors in an already-insular community. Rather than fighting this in housing and foreclosure court, maybe the next step is to bring these Jewish landlords and real estate tycoons to the Beit Din, and really put their feet to the fire.

National Security said...

Shmarya should take a hike and then let them come live in his dilapidated apt if he loves them so much.

The secular like former Defense Minister Moshe Arens sees what a huge problem this is. Everyone is on the same page except for the Failed blogger who sits around in his underwear.


African migrants could destroy Israel

Israel's constant worries over its Jewish character and security matters preclude the ability to take in these myriad migrants.

By Moshe Arens

YU - Torah Madua said...


This just in

YU molester Rabbi George Finkelstein is suspected of at least some kind of involvement in the mysterious disappearance of an antique sefer Torah from the Great Synagogue