Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Case of Rabbi Israel Weingarten

















Rabbi Israel Weingarten listens as his daughter testifies during his federal trial for allegedly sexually abusing her starting when she was 9.

Rabbi Israel Weingarten cross examined his own daughter, whom he is accused of molesting, bringing the now 27-year-old to tears.

The ex-wife of a rabbi accused of molesting his daughter testified Thursday that she found them together in bed, and the teen revealed that she had been sexually abused.

Faige Weingarten recalled a Friday night about nine years ago when they were living in Belgium. She had slept in another room after arguing with her husband. She heard their infant crying and went to the bedroom, where she found Weingarten and their then-16-year-old daughter in bed.

"He said, 'Look, we are dressed,' but with the covers half down, I saw the middle of his body was naked," she said in Brooklyn Federal Court through a Yiddish translator.

A few days later, the daughter confided to her she had been sodomized, according to Faige Weingarten.

"She became disgusted for the rest of her life - he made her life disgusting," she said.

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http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2009/03/05/2009-03-05_exwife_rabbi_israel_weingarten_halfnude_.html

Ex-wife: Rabbi Israel Weingarten half-nude with our daughter

Friday, March 6th 2009, 8:53 AM

Jane Rosenberg

Rabbi Israel Weingarten cross-examined his daugther in court Tuesday.

The ex-wife of a rabbi accused of molesting his daughter testified Thursday that she found them together in bed, and the teen revealed that she had been sexually abused.

Before she began answering the prosecutor's questions, Faige Weingarten waived her spousal privilege and told the judge she wanted to testify against her ex-husband, Israel Weingarten, who prosecutors say began abusing the girl in 1990 when she was 9.

The case is being heard in Brooklyn because Weingarten is accused of passing through JFK Airport on the family's frequent travels to Belgium.

Faige Weingarten recalled a Friday night about nine years ago when they were living in Belgium. She had slept in another room after arguing with her husband. She heard their infant crying and went to the bedroom, where she found Weingarten and their then-16-year-old daughter in bed.

"He said, 'Look, we are dressed,' but with the covers half down, I saw the middle of his body was naked," she said in Brooklyn Federal Court through a Yiddish translator.

A few days later, the daughter confided to her she had been sodomized, according to Faige Weingarten.

"She became disgusted for the rest of her life - he made her life disgusting," she said.

The rabbi, who is representing himself in the case, complained to Judge John Gleeson that the translator misunderstood Faige's answer about his father's ailing health at the time of the alleged sexual abuse.

Gleeson was incredulous. "And you think that was the important part?" he shot back.

Earlier, the rabbi reduced his son to tears during a bizarre cross-examination about a suicide letter the boy had written.

"Is it possible it could get any worse than this?" said the defendant's legal adviser, Barry Rhodes.

jmarzulli@nydailynews.com

===============================================================
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny--rabbiontrial0303mar03,0,5891609.story

Rabbi cross-examines daughter at NY sex trial

By TOM HAYS

Associated Press Writer

March 3, 2009

A woman who says her ultra-orthodox rabbi father molested her for much of her youth confronted him Tuesday under tense circumstances: as he cross-examined her at his own sex-abuse trial.

The defendant, Israel Weingarten, decided to be his own defense lawyer, setting up what a frustrated judge called an "awkward" and "fairly untenable" situation once he got the chance to directly question the government's star witness.

The woman, now 27, initially turned her head and wept when her father stepped up to a podium normally used by lawyers in a Brooklyn courtroom. But she slowly regained her composure, even lashing out at him when he questioned why she didn't come forward as a teenager with the shocking allegations.

"My feeling from your molesting me was utmost fear and blackmail and years of torture because you hit me, because I told my mother," she said. "Didn't I get hit enough?"

Weingarten, 59, a member of the Satmar community in Monsey, N.Y., was arrested and jailed without bail last year on charges he traveled outside the country to have sex with a minor. In a rambling opening statement, he said he had been falsely accused by a daughter who rebelled against a strict upbringing, and suggested that a neighbor was the actual abuser.

The daughter, one of eight children, told the FBI in 2003 that she was victimized since age 9 while living with her family in Hasidic communities in Belgium, and on trips to England and Israel. Prosecutors allege Weingarten sexually abused her, sometimes on a daily basis, and moved the family around to help conceal his crimes.

The accuser has since changed her name, but came forward and identified herself in open court as the daughter of the rabbi on Monday when she first took the witness stand to detail the accusations. She has appeared in court wearing an orange scarf and pants suit, and with her hair down _ a mainstream look she said her father had scorned.

She told jurors on Tuesday that once she grew up, she left the faith and hoped "to forget everything that happened to me," mindful that her father had warned her she "would never be able to prove it." But she went public with her charges at the urging of her mother, who was embroiled in a custody dispute with her father.

Weingarten, though assisted by two lawyers, struggled with his cross-examination. His questions meandered, and he often interrupted his daughter's answers by scolding her, which visibly angering U.S. District Judge Gleeson.

"I'm not sure where this cross is going, but I do know this: You are not going to lecture this witness," the judge told him.

The father peppered his daughter with questions about her admission that as a teen she briefly fell in love with an older man living next door in Belgium. Though she claimed she never had sex with him, she testified she was thrilled "that I finally got to be with another guy besides my father."

Her father reminded her that the neighbor was married with children, asking, "Didn't you feel that was wrong?"

"I didn't do much thinking," she responded. "I went with my heart."

The woman was to resume testifying on Wednesday.

===================================================================

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2009/03/02/2009-03-02_daughter_of_orthodox_rabbi_tells_court_o.html

Daughter of Orthodox rabbi tells court of father's sexual abuse

Tuesday, March 3rd 2009, 12:03 AM

The 27-year-old daughter of an Orthodox rabbi tearfully described in Brooklyn Federal Court the day 18 years ago when her father began sexually abusing her.

"I felt alone, scared, confused," the woman said as her gray-bearded father sat on the other side of the cavernous courtroom shaking his head.

She said her mother was heating chicken soup and the family was gathering in the kitchen when her father, Israel Weingarten, called the girl to a bedroom and assaulted her.

She said she felt "confusion, deafening silence" after the initial incident, which she says was followed by years of abuse.

Wearing a bright orange scarf and a pants suit, the woman said music, books and long dresses were forbidden in the home and the tight-knit community she has now left.

Weingarten, defending himself against charges that he brought his eldest daughter between homes in Belgium and New York for sex, wore the traditional black leggings and long jacket of a Satmar as he gave a rambling and bizarre opening statement.

"I'm not used to talk to people like you," he said in heavily accented English. He praised his daughter, but said she changed after an alleged affair with a neighbor.

And he repeatedly tried to show that religious Jews are not that different, once even parting his jacket and exposing leggings he said are similar to those worn by George Washington.

"You see these pants, it remind you of something?" he said holding his jacket open during what was surely one of the strangest sights seen in a federal courtroom. "I'm not that much different when it comes to our forefathers ... the only thing is, we didn't want to change."

The testimony continues Tuesday, to be followed by Weingarten's eldest son and his ex-wife.

sshifrel@nydailynews.com

=============================================================

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny--rabbiontrial0302mar02,0,5432855.story

Newsday.com

Daughter accuses NY rabbi father of sex abuse

By TOM HAYS

Associated Press Writer

March 2, 2009

The daughter of an ultra-orthodox Jewish rabbi tearfully testified Monday how her father molested her for the first time at age 9, starting a pattern of abuse that prosecutors say lasted several years.

Afterward, "I felt alone, scared and confused," the woman, now 27, told a jury at her father's sex abuse trial.

The testimony was part of an unusual scene in federal court in Brooklyn, where the rabbi, Israel Weingarten, has chosen to represent himself and could end up cross-examining his own daughter.

In a rambling opening statement, the jailed Weingarten said he had been falsely accused by a daughter who rebelled against a strict upbringing, and suggested that a neighbor was the actual abuser. He also asked jurors not to judge him by his conservative black clothing, comparing it to that worn by George Washington.

"I'm not that different when it comes to our forefathers who were fighting for freedom," he said.

Weingarten, 59, a member of the Satmar community in upstate Monroe, N.Y., was arrested last year on charges he traveled outside the country to have sex with a minor. Prosecutors have said that if convicted, he faces up to 210 months in prison under sentencing guidelines.

The daughter, the second of eight children, first told the FBI in 2003 that she was victimized while living with her family in Hasidic communities in Belgium, and on trips to England and Israel.

"For at least seven years, the defendant sexually abused his daughter on a weekly, and sometimes daily basis," court papers said. "He moved her to different countries in order to continue the abuse and to escape any threat he would be apprehended as word of his abuse began to spread."

The daughter took the stand as the government's first witness wearing an orange scarf and pants suit, and with her hair down _ a mainstream look she said Weingarten forbade while growing up. She claimed her father had told that wearing red, orange or purple was wrong because it "reminds you of a woman's period."

She testified he first violated her one Sunday night after dinner, when he called her into his bedroom.

The daughter was to resume testifying on Tuesday.
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http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2009/03/09/2009-03-09_rabbi_israel_weingartens_daughter_claims.html

Rabbi Israel Weingarten's daughter claims mother was sexual abuser in trial

Monday, March 9th 2009, 9:33 PM

Jane Rosenberg

Rabbi Israel Weingarten cross examines his daughter Chaneh, during his molestation trial on Monday in Brooklyn.

Enough already.

A federal judge refused Monday to allow a rabbi charged with molesting his daughter to turn the courtroom into the "Jerry Springer" show.

The defendant, Israel Weingarten, who is acting as his own attorney, called two grown daughters Monday to testify that it was their mother who was the child molester, not him.

When Weingarten said he planned to call three more children, ages 13 to 18, to take the stand in Brooklyn Federal Court, the judge had enough.

"Your 13-year-old son is going to testify about sexual abuse by your wife?" Judge John Gleeson asked.

Weingarten replied that the boy would testify to physical abuse by his mother.

"I'm not going to permit it," Gleeson snapped.

Earlier the judge had allowed Weingarten's daughters Chayeh, 23, and Chaneh, 20, to testify that their mother had sexually abused their older sister, who claims she was repeatedly sodomized by her father starting in 1990 when she was 9 and continuing until she was 18.

Chayeh Weingarten testified her mother had sexually abused the victim and that she was warned by the victim that the Mafia would get her if she came forward.

The defendant is charged with transporting his daughter across international borders for the purpose of committing sexual crimes against her.

In her closing argument, prosecutor Rachel Nash asked the jury to consider the humiliation and embarrassment the victim endured by speaking publicly of the abuse.

The rabbi and his wife are divorced and he has claimed that she fabricated the abuse allegations as part of the bitter breakup.

jmarzulli@nydailynews.com

49 comments:

loser shafran said...

There is some inappropriate finger pointing at orthodox molesters in this Staten Island article.

"Rabbi" David Niederman is a putz said...

"To me, it does not make sense," says Niederman, of the United Jewish Organizations, "that so many people have been violated and for so many years they have been quiet. Something does not add up. It's being blown out of proportion — big time."

Anonymous said...

Isn't it wrong to molest his own daughter?

"Her father reminded her that the neighbor was married with children, asking, "Didn't you feel that was wrong?"

"Rabbi" Aminadav Krispin said...

Last update - 15:22 03/03/2009
Rabbi charged with repeated sexual assault
By Fadi Eyadat, Haaretz Correspondent

The Haifa District Prosecutor's Office filed an indictment on Tuesday against the Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Bialik for sexually assaulting and harassing three women.

According to the indictment, between December 2003 and January 2004, Rabbi Aminadav Krispin allegedly committed lewd acts and sexually harassed a female housekeeper who worked in the Rabbinate's office.

The indictment further reveals that Krispin was charged with a similar offense in June 2003, when a woman came to him for counseling with her husband. The rabbi allegedly asked the husband to leave the room and, once alone, kissed the woman's head, claiming that he was giving her a special blessing, and made other sexual overtures.

An incident from 1998 is also included in the indictment, even though the statute of limitations on the crime has run out, in which the rabbi allegedly sexually harassed a secretary at the religious council. The defendant is not charged with the crime, but it is included in the indictment in order to demonstrate a pattern. The indictment also charges that the rabbi tried to intimidate one of the witnesses in the case after these allegations came to light.

Another Tendler putz said...

The chief rabbi of Kiryat Bialik was charged on Tuesday in the Krayot Magistrate's Court for committing sexual harassment and indecent acts against several female Kiryat Bialik Religious Council workers.

The charge sheet claims that Rabbi Aminadav Krispin, 75, had on three different occasions sexually harassed women. The earliest incident took place over ten years ago.

The indictment presented by prosecutor Rali Gutman of the Haifa District Attorney's office also includes a count of witness tampering, after the rabbi allegedly threatened one of the complainants against making her case public in a local newspaper.

exposemolesters said...

http://jewishvoiceandopinion.com/a/JVO20090302.html

Cleaning Up Our Own Backyard

Esti said...

Weingarten should get raped in prison. I can't wait until they find him guilty. This statement is so like this manipulative psychopath.
-

She claimed her father had told that wearing red, orange or purple was wrong because it ``reminds you of a woman's period.''

The Ava Miedzinski Story said...

Credit:

The Awareness Center, Inc.

http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/AvaStory.html

Ava Miedzinski's Story - A Jewish Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse Speaks Out

My sharing my story with the Awareness Center helped me learn how normal I am despite what I went through, and it was a relief to learn that so much of what has plagued me for so many years (decades, actually) has a name--PTSD, a typical consequence of traumatic experiences.

Learning that I could still take my abuser to task helped, even though I have since learned that my abuser is deceased. I can put my personal story in a new place. My abuse led to my becoming sterile from an infection that disturbed the development of my inner apparatus. But I was not left without blessings. Hashem saw to it that I became a mom to a lovely baby whose mother could not raise her. Now grown and married, my daughter is the promise of a future with grandchildren.

I have begun to work to help others by working with the center to prevent abusers who are still abusing children from continuing to cause trauma and life long difficulties to others.

Being an Orthodox woman, I know how terrible it is to discover that incest and pedophilia are as prevalent in the Jewish community as in any human community. Being Jewish means learning to restrain our human impulses, to overcome the animal drives that keep us from being complete reflections of the divine image in which we were created. To discover that rabbis and leaders in the Jewish community are abusing children because they refuse to restrain their most inappropriate impulses is a shock. To have to make our community aware of such people is a

shanda, but it is necessary. How else do stop these people? Sending them to Israel or to Australia or to other schools is no answer. That is a crime. It makes us accessories to that abuse, not a just and righteous people.

I beg the sane and caring of our leadership to lend their support in keeping our community safe and healthy for our children so that no such filthy laundry needing cleaning should have to be laundered in public. I ask everyone in the community to lend their all to support the Awareness Center in making our community safer for our children.

Sincerely,

Ava Miedzinski

Anonymous said...

Weingarten, 59, a member of the Satmar community in Monsey, N.Y., was arrested and jailed without bail last year on charges he traveled outside the country to have sex with a minor. In a rambling opening statement, he said he had been falsely accused by a daughter who rebelled against a strict upbringing, and suggested that a neighbor was the actual abuser.
**********************************
Where and who exactly is this neighbor?

The feds don't usually prosecute unless they are convinced that they have overwhelming evidence against a low-life like weingarten that will be sure to land him behind bars.

Judge John Gleeson said...

"Mr. Weingarten, if anybody is going to admonish the witness it's going to be me," he thundered. "You have created a fairly untenable, horrific situation by deciding to represent yourself.

"Now, I'm not sure where this crossexamination is going, but I know you are not going to lecture this witness."

The cross-examination continues Wednesday.

Arab Terrorist said...

JERUSALEM -- Ghadir al-Abbasi has a message for Hillary Clinton, the new U.S. Secretary of State, making her debut in Israel and the Palestinian territories today: "Come, see for yourself," said the mother of six, whose modest home in an Arab neighbourhood of Jerusalem was demolished yesterday, leaving the family and its belongings sitting beside a pile of rubble.

"You are a mother. How would you feel if it happened to you and your family?" she asks.

no mention of palestinian crimes said...

Jewish Rabbi: We Want Palestine Free

TEHRAN (FNA)- An anti Zionist Jewish religious leader here Wednesday strongly criticized Israel's policies, stressing that the Zionist regime has "stolen Jewish identity".


"We (anti Zionist Jews) want Palestine to be set free," Rabbi Aren Kohn told reporters on the sidelines of the 'Fourth International Conference for Support of Palestine, the Model of Resistance, and Gaza, the Victim of War Crimes'.

"We thank Arabs residing in Palestine (occupied territories) for their several hundred years of hospitality to the Jews and want formation of an (independent) Palestinian state," he reiterated.

Condemning Israelis' crimes against Palestinian, the rabbi told reporters, "The Zionist regime has stolen our identity in order for its crimes to look legitimate."

"We must understand the root causes of the problems and check what the Zionists are doing," Kohn added.

Bringing together legal experts from the world's leading rights groups, the conference started work in Tehran on Wednesday morning.

The two-day event is expected to focus on war crimes and crimes against humanity carried out by Israel during its three-week military campaign in the Gaza Strip (December, 2008 to January, 2009.

The participants include senior officials from the main Palestinian groups, such as Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad.

Accused perv Rabbi Israel Weingarten grills crying daughter on details said...

BY Scott Shifrel
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Thursday, March 5th 2009, 1:56 AM
Related News
Articles

* Rabbi cross-examines daughter at molest trial

A rabbi defending himself against charges he molested his daughter brought her to tears Wednesday with a third day of wacky cross-examination that left lawyers hired to help him exasperated.

The woman, now 27, looked away as her father, Israel Weingarten, 59, asked her details of Jewish law, whether a window was open or shut, and the floor plan of a home in Belgium where he is accused of abusing her years ago.

"You had me there every day, naked, I did not notice if the window was open or not," she shot back. "I was kept by you in the bedroom, naked all the time."

In the afternoon, Weingarten took aim at his son, who is now 28, accusing him of fooling around with his sister.

At the end, Weingarten brandished a surprise letter his son wrote when he left the ultra-Orthodox community and seemed to blame it all on his sister.

"This letter was written in the worst part of my life," the son replied from the stand. "I was under your influence and your terrorism. You terrorized my life."

Judge John Gleeson repeatedly admonished Weingarten to keep questions relevant and stop berating his children.

Two lawyers Weingarten hired to advise him, Barry Rhodes and Alan Stutman, tried to help but threw up their hands as Weingarten repeatedly ignored their advice.

"I've never seen anything like this," Stutman said. "I'm speechless. It is bizarre. I don't know what to think."

sshifrel@nydailynews.com

Avi Shafran the putz said...

I object to these pornographic details. A child makes things up.

"You had me there every day, naked, I did not notice if the window was open or not," she shot back. "I was kept by you in the bedroom, naked all the time."

Rabbi Yosef Blau gets it right again said...

http://forward.com/articles/103605/

Shame of Sexual Abuse Among Believers
Religious Communities Slow To Uproot Cultures of Silence
By Rebecca Dube
Published March 04, 2009, issue of March 13, 2009.

On the surface, Joseph Diangelo and Flora Jessop couldn’t look more different.

Diangelo grew up in a Hasidic community in Brooklyn. Jessop was raised in a polygamous compound, part of a fundamentalist Mormon sect on the Utah-Arizona border.

But as Diangelo listened to Jessop tell her harrowing tale of abuse, forced marriage, spiritual threats, rape and eventual escape, he found himself nodding in recognition.

“I thought she was talking about me,” Diangelo said. Raped in a mikveh as a boy, he is now estranged from his family. (He changed his last name after leaving Orthodox Judaism.) “She said it so perfectly,” Diangelo said, “how any complaints get shoved under the rug.”

The details may differ from a dusty Arizona desert to a bustling Williamsburg street corner. But experts at the March 2 conference, held in Manhattan at Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, said that many strict religious communities offer similar advantages to sexual predators: adults who trust their religious leaders without reservation; reluctance to report abuse to outside authorities; and a culture, consisting of silence and shame, that conspires to keep victims quiet.

“It is a rule that the believers may not tell anybody else about the abuse,” whether among Orthodox Jews, Mormons or Catholics, said Marci Hamilton, Cardozo law professor and author of “Justice Denied: What America Must Do To Protect Its Children” published in 2008. “The big winner in that universe is the pedophile.”

There are no reliable studies on rates of child sexual predation in Orthodox Jewish communities. But when Brooklyn’s Democratic New York State Assembly Member Dov Hikind used his weekly radio show last year to invite individuals molested as children to contact him, he quickly compiled more than 1,000 accounts he considered credible from local listeners.

“If you’re a pedophile, the best place for you to come to are some of the Jewish communities,” Hikind said. “Why? Because you can be a pedophile and no one’s going to do anything.”

Studies of America’s general population indicate a rate of child molestation of about 25% for girls and 20% for boys, Hamilton said.

“There is no reason to believe that this rate differs in the Orthodox Jewish community,” said sociologist Hella Winston, who has studied the issue.

Close-knit Orthodox communities enforce the rule of silence with special vigor, said Rabbi Yosef Blau of Yeshiva University. Mesirah, the halachic misdeed of informing on fellow Jews to secular authorities, was once a mere prohibition, but it has been elevated to a virtual taboo, Blau said at the conference. That taboo may have made sense historically, when Jews lived in hostile nations surrounded by antisemitic authorities, but it doesn’t work for children in America.

“Every abuser knows how to throw around the term, to say, ‘How could you?’” he added.

Abuse and cover-up allegations have rocked the Orthodox world in the past few years, but so far they haven’t prompted the tidal wave of lawsuits that ultimately forced the Catholic Church to publicly address its history of such problems.

Recently, some prominent ultra-Orthodox leaders have acknowledged the problem exists. But many in the community continue to believe publicity around the issue is overblown.

Some observers have said that Orthodox Judaism, as an institution, is now where Catholics were a decade ago in terms of dealing with child sexual abuse by clergy. But there are some important nuances, Blau said.

Catholicism is highly centralized, with a clear chain of command from the lowliest parish priest right up to the pope. In the church scandal, senior clerics knowingly transferred priests accused of molesting children from parish to unsuspecting parish, allowing them to continue their pattern of predation.

In Orthodox Jewish communities, some yeshivas are also alleged to cover up for and protect rabbinic predators. Even when problems are identified, there is no central tracking system, and nothing to stop a rabbi fired for predation from getting a job with a congregation or school down the block or in another town.

Blau said that means that the only way to stop abusers is to report them to the secular authorities — no matter how strongly that runs counter to years of tradition and indoctrination against “informing.”

“Our obligation is to protect children. What we have to do is find a way of breaking the taboo,” Blau said.

David Framowitz, who in 2006 filed a $20 million lawsuit with others against Rabbi Yehuda Kolko and Yeshiva Torah Temimah for alleged sexual abuse, said getting Orthodox Jews to turn to outsiders for help will be an uphill battle.

“Most people aren’t willing to understand that this might be a major problem within the community, and they don’t understand that the rabbis aren’t capable of dealing with this problem,” Framowitz said.

The outcome of cases like Framowitz’s will make a big difference in the willingness of Orthodox victims and their families to report sexual abuse, Blau predicted.

“We take two steps forward, one step back. Lawsuits take a long time. If one of these suits actually wins a big judgment, then everything will change,” the rabbi said. “Recent revelations have begun to penetrate the denial, but we lack the internal means to deal with the crisis.”

Advocates for abused children are also lobbying hard for a bill before the New York State Assembly that would add five years to the statute of limitations on crimes of child sexual abuse, and create a one-year window in which people could file claims on old cases. The changes are desperately needed, Hamilton, the law professor, said, because many survivors of childhood sexual abuse don’t come to terms with their abuse until well into their 20s or later.

In the meantime, Blau said, the best hope for breaking the silence and ending the communal taboo lies not with leadership from powerful rabbis, but with anonymous voices on the Internet sharing their stories and questioning the status quo.

“Blogs. That’s what’s going to change it,” Blau said. “There are no secrets in the world of the Internet. You can’t control it, you can’t stop them.”

Recently, a group formed that consists of adults who say they were molested as children in the Orthodox community. Known as Survivors for Justice, the group members recognize the barrier that victim isolation poses to exposing and acting on the problem. The group offers those who have been through similar experiences a place to tell their story, and provides them assistance with the often intimidating process of going to the authorities.

Jessop, who has helped numerous other women and girls escape the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, applauded the development.

“In a society where we teach our children they do not have the right to stand up to adults, we teach our children to be victims from the very beginning,” Jessop said. “We’ve got to stand up, find our strength and become our own heroes in order to make a change.”

avi shafran said...

“Blogs. That’s what’s going to change it,” Blau said. “There are no secrets in the world of the Internet. You can’t control it, you can’t stop them.”
-------------------------------------

Is Blau insane? Blogmesiters and the blogosphere are dustier than my borsalino hat. They are filthy and dirty and they make people like me look awfully bad.

mad world said...

Local agency lost $85,000 to Bernie Madoff

The Alpert Jewish Family & Children's Service is appealing to the public for help after they, and their donors, lost their savings in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme.

Several local donors who used to give money to support the service programs provided to the community by the Alpert Jewish Family & Children’s Service, can no longer can make those donations after their money was lost in the Bernard Madoff investment fraud. As a result, the agency is turning to the public to ask for help in order to continue providing services.

“We lost a total of approximately $85,000 in contributions due to Madoff,” said AJFCS Executive Director Neil Newstein. “This comes at a critical time when, due to the economic downturn, our services are needed more than ever.” He noted that none of the agency's funds were invested with Madoff.

Specific losses from the agency include:

- $25,000 gift to underwrite No Excuse for Abuse Luncheon lost at a time when domestic abuse is on the rise due to unemployment and economic pressure. The luncheon is scheduled for March 11 at the Kravis Center Cohen Pavilion and funds the agency’s Rosenberg Domestic Abuse Outreach and Support Program.
- An endowment to pay for child psychiatric care for children's mental health services is gone. The agency is still providing services, including the services of one of only a handful of child psychiatrists practicing in Palm Beach County, but has to raise other funds to pay for these services.
- The agency’s food pantry now provides food to Madoff victims – the very people who once funded agency services through their donations

For more information, to obtain services or to make a contribution, call 561-684-1991

Rabbi Jacob Perlow said...

I need help to decide if Boro parkers abuse more than the Fletbooshes.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/brooklyn/2009/02/24/2009-02-24_they_help_get_it_together_jewish_women_a-2.html

Three years after she left her abusive husband, a Borough Park Orthodox Jewish woman still can't move on.

At first, she said, "he would call me names, he would call me stupid, he would yell at me for any little thing."

Soon the abuse became physical and sexual. "There were many times that I wanted to call the police," she said. "But I was afraid of him. I felt trapped."

The woman turned to the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot because her husband refused to grant her a get, or religious divorce.

Agunot is the Hebrew term for "chained woman."

The group had the man's name published in the Jewish press to shame him. Rabbis have attempted to persuade him to give the get.

Founded by Yeshiva University students in 2002, the group works to persuade husbands to grant the get, a move which no court or religious authority can force. They start with quiet negotiation, then ramp up the pressure, even holding public rallies at the homes and workplaces of husbands who hold out.

The group has successfully resolved about 100 cases and has 70 more open, mostly in Borough Park and Flatbush.

"Often, the husband will hold it as a bargaining chip until he gets what he wants in court," said ORA Executive Director Michael Kaplan. "Sometimes, it's just straight-out extortion. He'll ask for $100,000 in exchange for the get.

"Our organization came along so that a woman wouldn't have to succumb to these threats," said Kaplan.

He said the group has seen an increase in the number of women seeking its help as women have realized they don't have to accept the indefinite limbo. When ORA started out, they got about 10 new cases a year; now it's closer to 30, said Kaplan.

The group is not without its critics. Some of its rallies have drawn counterprotests from men in the community.

"There's a proper Jewish way to go about getting a divorce," said Dov Charnowitz, a leading critic. "ORA unfortunately doesn't really care about that."

But Kaplan said most rabbis are supportive of their efforts, even joining in their rallies.

"We don't think there's ever a reason to withhold a get," he said. "It's a form of emotional abuse."

Meanwhile, the woman in Borough Park is still "chained" because her husband has refused to grant the get.

"He knows there's no way I'm going back to him," she said. "It's out of spite and it's sick."

jpost said...

Purim: With enemies like these
Mar. 5, 2009
Shlomo Riskin , THE JERUSALEM POST

The rising wind of anti-Semitism is once again threatening our people, from the Dubai tennis games to the anti-Israel Durban conference, to the boycotts of Israeli goods in Turkey, to the vandals in Venezuela, to European Jew-battering, to accusations of Jewish responsibility for the global financial crisis.

But can even anti-Semitism have a redeeming quality?

Let us look to Purim for the answer.

Purim is a joyous - but rather anomalous - festival. Yes, it captures the universal seriousness of good triumphing over evil, but for this one day a year, the relatively strict attitudes of Judaism are replaced with a carnival-like atmosphere of parades, drinking and masks. The Talmud even commands us to get so drunk "...that we cannot tell the difference between cursing Haman and blessing Mordecai" (B.T. Megilla 7B).

To understand the meaning of this strange directive, as well as to answer our opening question, let's explore the identity of Purim's real hero. Is it the great Jewish beauty who wins the king's heart, and pleads before the one man with the power to save her people?

Or is the hero the king himself who, despite being surrounded by evil men - most notably Haman - is able to rise above their prejudice toward the Jews, who are scattered across his land, keeping their own laws? When he withdraws the edict, the king demonstrates the kind of wisdom that some monarchs have had toward their Jewish subjects throughout the ages.

Or is Mordecai - humble, saintly, self-effacing - the hero whom Divine Providence put in the right place at the right time, allowing him to overhear the assassination plot of two of Ahasuerus's ministers, thereby saving the king's life? Or perhaps he's the hero because he never forgets he is a Jew, refusing to bow to Haman no matter the cost.

To better understand who the real hero might be, we should pay close attention to the talmudic dictum that we drink until we can't tell the difference between cursing Haman or blessing Mordecai.

Shushan, the capital of Ahasuerus's kingdom, was probably like any great melting pot. The Book of Esther describes events that took place between 536 BCE and 516 BCE, after Cyrus permitted the Judeans to return to Israel but before the Second Temple was built. Most of the Jews chose to remain in Persia, where they would not have to face the financial and military insecurity which awaited them in Judea. Indeed, the Scroll of Esther may well be the first work to describe what happens to a Jewish community that chooses to remain in exile.

The Jews were the cream of Shushan society, with PJYs (Persian Jewish Yuppies) showing up everywhere. Indeed, the Scroll of Esther opens with the king's invitation to attend a great feast at his palace - with no mention of kosher caterers. Even intermarriage seems so deeply entrenched that when the niece of the leading religious Jew of the city marries the king, the text only says that "...she was taken" (Esther 2:8). There is no indication that she put up a fight or at least shaved her head in an attempt to make herself ugly when she was supposed to be primping in the king's harem. She doesn't reveal her Jewish lineage - and Ibn Ezra mentions a commentator (whom he rejects) who suspects that she hides her identity to enhance her chances of becoming queen.

Perhaps God's name does not appear because in Shushan these Jews had left no room for Him in their lives. Be that as it may, history teaches us that the ruler of the universe has plans for His people. In effect, God was saying: "Either you will remember that you're Jews on your own, or I'll have to remind you."

And so Haman arises.

The paradigm for the rule of Divine Providence is to be found in the beginning of the Book of Exodus, when the Bible describes the prosperous descendants of Jacob's family in Egypt: "...And the Children of Israel were fruitful and swarmed [vayishratzu], multiplied and waxed exceedingly mighty, and the land was filled with them" (Exodus 1:7). The midrash picks up on the verb "to swarm" which includes the root noun sheretz, an impure reptile. The Bible is apparently suggesting that the Hebrews were saturating the cultural landscape of Egypt, swarming into the bars and brothels.

And then what happens? "There arose a new king over Egypt" (Exodus 1:8). The party is over. Edicts begin. Jews are forbidden to socialize with Egyptians. Death is in the air. Male children are drowned in the Nile, or conscripted at the age of eight.

When Jews in the Diaspora forget they are Jews, a gentile will remind them. His name may be Pharaoh, or Haman, or Stalin, or Hitler, or Ahmadinejad.

Let us now return to the Scroll of Esther. Ahasuerus has arbitrarily placed total power in the hands of a new grand vizier - Haman - who loses no time in choosing a day when the Jews of Persia may be murdered as free game. Mordecai, in sackcloth and ashes, appears before the palace gates in a loud demonstration on behalf of his people. He can no longer remain silent - and bids Esther (whose Persian name, which comes from the goddess Astarte, can also mean "hidden") to come "out of the closet" and plead for her people before the king. At that moment, placing her life on the line for her nation, Esther becomes possibly the first ba'alat teshuva (religious penitent). She succeeds in her mission, the Jews are granted the right to defend themselves, and Haman with his offspring are hanged.

The midrash of Esther Rabba says that the son Esther bore Ahasuerus, Darius, allowed the Jews in Judea to complete the Second Temple.

On Purim, we are commanded to drink. Now the reason is beginning to come clear. Without Haman, the tide of assimilation would have continued, resulting in Jewish oblivion. Thus, in a rather twisted way, we owe our continued existence to this archetypal anti-Semite. Yes, it is natural to praise Mordecai, but had it not been for Haman, neither Mordecai nor Esther would have stepped to the plate and emerged as true Jews. And we need to drink in order to blot out the difference between the Jewish patriot and the gentile anti-Semite who activated him. We need the stimulus of wine to celebrate a Jewish victory which has its source in anti-Semitism! If Jews ever think the Diaspora is more secure than their homeland, let the Scroll of Esther remind them that assimilation and anti-Semitism are the greatest dangers of all.

The writer is the founder and chancellor of Ohr Torah Stone Colleges and Graduate Programs, and chief rabbi of Efrat.
________________________________

This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1236246867599&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

Faige Weingarten said...

Ex-wife: Rabbi Israel Weingarten half-nude with our daughter

BY John Marzulli
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Friday, March 6th 2009, 8:53 AM
Jane Rosenberg

Rabbi Israel Weingarten cross-examined his daugther in court Tuesday.

The ex-wife of a rabbi accused of molesting his daughter testified Thursday that she found them together in bed, and the teen revealed that she had been sexually abused.

Before she began answering the prosecutor's questions, Faige Weingarten waived her spousal privilege and told the judge she wanted to testify against her ex-husband, Israel Weingarten, who prosecutors say began abusing the girl in 1990 when she was 9.

The case is being heard in Brooklyn because Weingarten is accused of passing through JFK Airport on the family's frequent travels to Belgium.

Faige Weingarten recalled a Friday night about nine years ago when they were living in Belgium. She had slept in another room after arguing with her husband. She heard their infant crying and went to the bedroom, where she found Weingarten and their then-16-year-old daughter in bed.

"He said, 'Look, we are dressed,' but with the covers half down, I saw the middle of his body was naked," she said in Brooklyn Federal Court through a Yiddish translator.

A few days later, the daughter confided to her she had been sodomized, according to Faige Weingarten.

"She became disgusted for the rest of her life - he made her life disgusting," she said.

The rabbi, who is representing himself in the case, complained to Judge John Gleeson that the translator misunderstood Faige's answer about his father's ailing health at the time of the alleged sexual abuse.

Gleeson was incredulous. "And you think that was the important part?" he shot back.

Earlier, the rabbi reduced his son to tears during a bizarre cross-examination about a suicide letter the boy had written.

"Is it possible it could get any worse than this?" said the defendant's legal adviser, Barry Rhodes.

jmarzulli@nydailynews.com

Judge John Gleeson has line of the day said...

The rabbi, who is representing himself in the case, complained to Judge John Gleeson that the translator misunderstood Faige's answer about his father's ailing health at the time of the alleged sexual abuse.

Gleeson was incredulous. "And you think that was the important part?" he shot back.

netuei karta drek Ahron Cohen said...

Cohen condemned the massacre of civilians, the destruction of their homes, the bombing of schools and mosques, the use of phosphorous bombs and other outlawed weapons, and a blockade on food, fuel and medicine supplies to Gaza residents, saying, “The Zionists’ actions are crimes and is absolutely opposed to the divine religion.”

why do people like to talk about the Jews? said...

“When there’s a disproportionate focus on what Jews are doing, it touches on a form of anti-Semitism,” says Goldstein, adding that the problem stems largely from people conflating Zionism with Judaism, when criticism of Israel morphs dangerously into negative sentiment towards Jews.

By way of example, Goldstein points to recent anti-Semitic comments made by deputy foreign affairs minister Fatima Hajaig, who recently told a pro-Palestinian rally in Lenasia, Johannesburg, that “Jews control America”.

Says Goldstein: “What (Hajaig) shows is how the anti-Israel sentiment switches quickly into anti-Jewish sentiment — in practical terms the one switches into the other, they are two sides of the same coin.

“When the debate around the Middle East lurches towards demonisation and disproportionality. .. when that criticism becomes disproportionate, it lurches into anti-Semitism. ”

Some would say the chief rabbi’s public utterances have not helped dispel this conflation of Israel with Judaism. Many within his community label him a hardline orthodox conservative, a man who justifies any action by Israel as God’s will.

Goldstein says such criticism is unjustified: “I just do what I believe to be right. If and when the backlash comes, then it comes.

“What we need to do is create an atmosphere of tolerance in the country.

“There’s almost a sense that certain views on certain things are not acceptable. I can explain the way I see the Arab-Israeli conflict, but there are voices in South African society that say, hey, that’s not a legitimate position.

“They say, not only do I disagree with you, w hat you are saying is immoral and must be silenced. .. and you have no right to say it.

“ I have no problem with vehement disagreement, but every voice has to be heard,” Goldstein says.

The rabbi is also quick to counter talk that the Jewish community is less than optimistic about South Africa’s future — and that the Jews are....

http://www.thetimes.co.za/PrintEdition/Article.aspx?id=953906

tragic said...

http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c352_a15054/News/Briefs.html
---------------------------------

Tragedy Strikes Long Island Chabad

A 9-year-old boy whose parents operate the Chabad of the Five Towns died in his sleep Friday night, leaving his family and community in a state of trauma.

While Chabad sources say that the cause of death is yet to be determined, some community members suspect that Levi Wolowik may have died of Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome during his sleep, according to the chasidic news source Vos Iz Neais.

Levi was the third of seven children to Rabbi Zalman and Chanie Wolowik, who have led the Cedarhurst outreach center for nearly 15 years, and the grandson of Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of the educational arm of Chabad-Lubavitch, Chabad.org reported. The Wolowiks had made news headlines two months ago when an elderly
driver crashed through the window of their Chanukah Wonderland party and injured 14 people.

Known for his dedication to Judaism, his intelligence and his kindhearted nature, Levi’s death has taken a toll on all those who knew him.

“People are taking this as a loss to the entire Five Towns community,” youth director Hadassa Geisinsky told Chabad.org early Sunday morning. “It’s a tragedy for everybody here.”

The Wolowiks left a message on their Web site confirming that Chabad of the Five Towns’ Dinner would still take place Sunday night, and urged community members to attend. More than 500 participants and honorees attended the banquet that evening, where they honored Levi’s memory in unity, Chabad.org reported.
Levi was buried on Sunday afternoon at the Old Montefiore Cemetery in Cambria Heights, Queens

Rabbis urge public to cut down on Purim spending said...

Citing dire financial situation, Sephardic spiritual leaders call on public to avoid sending expensive Purim baskets to friends and family. Belz Hasidut bans giving gifts to in-laws this holiday
Ynet

Recession hits Purim: Israel's prominent Sephardic rabbis, including Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, urged the public to cut down on Purim basket expenses in light of the dire financial situation in the country.



In a special statement published Thursday by a list of important spiritual leaders, including Rabbi Yosef, former chief rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi Doron and current chief rabbi Shlomo Amar, among many others, they wrote:



"We warmly call on our God fearing brethren of Israel to avoid unnecessary spending when preparing holiday baskets filled with sweets and pastries, and to narrow down such needless expenses as much as possible."



The rabbis stressed that "precisely at a time like this, when we are facing a difficult financial crisis… one must refrain from wasting money on costly Purim gifts."



Meanwhile, the Ashkenazi Belz Hasidut also plans to exercise modesty this Purim. Posters to be published by the stream's holiday events' organizers will inform their public that this year they are forbidden from sending Purim baskets to their in-laws and their families – a new regulations that will presumably lead to significant saving in the Hasidut.

exposemolesters said...

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/bronx/2009/03/07/2009-03-07_bronx_ada_jill_starishevskys_book_raises-2.html

Bronx ADA Jill Starishevsky's book raises awareness of child sex abuse

BY Chrisena Coleman
DAILY NEWS WRITER

Saturday, March 7th 2009, 10:16 PM
Watts/News

Bronx Assistant D.A. Jill Starishevsky holds a copy of "My Body Belongs to Me," written for children ages 3 to 8.

Bronx Assistant District Attorney Jill Starishevsky's telephone is ringing off the hook these days with invitations to speak at upcoming events during National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.

Not only because she has prosecuted child abuse and sex crime cases for more than a decade, but because Starishevsky penned the recently published children's book "My Body Belongs to Me."

She said many of her child abuse cases have moved her to tears, with most of the victims too afraid to tell someone.

"I wanted to get the message out there because it is too important not to," said the 38-year-old mother of two.

"My book is a preventative tool. After reading the book, I want kids to walk away knowing their body is their own and nobody has the right to touch it."

To make the conversation easier for parents to have with their children, Starishevsky wrote the children's book, which she published and sells on her Web site, www.mybodybelongstome.com. She expects the book to be in stores by the fall.

Starishevsky launched her own publishing company, Safety Star Media, and with the online success of "My Body Belongs To Me," she plans to translate the book into Spanish, Japanese, German and Russian, and write a series of books to keep kids safe.

The idea to write a book had been on Starishevsky's mind for some time, but she put pen to paper after she interviewed a 9-year-old girl Bronx girl who had been molested by her stepfather for three years.

During the interview process, the girl told Starishevsky that she came forward after she watched an episode of "Oprah" about children who had been beaten. At the end of the show, Oprah Winfrey looked into the camera and said "If you are being abused, tell your parents or your teacher."

The next day, the girl told her teacher.

"Children don't tell because they are afraid and embarrassed," said Starishevsky. "There is a silence because nobody wants to talk about it.

"The only voice kids hear is that of the predator," she continued. "They are telling kids not to tell, but my book is a way to fight back."

It is up to parents to educate their children about sexual abuse, said Starishevsky.

She was recently presented an award from The Bronx Society for the Prevention Against Cruelty to Children, and has received dozens of requests to speak on the subject.

On April 19 Starishevsky is scheduled to speak in Washington at The Race, Run & Rally to Stop the Silence, an annual event to raise awareness about the issue.

"Child sex abuse is more prevalent than people want to believe," said Starishevsky. "I wrote the book to help parents and so that bad stuff will stop happening to kids."

The Bronx district attorney's offices had 280 child abuse cases last year and 330 cases the year before, according to spokesman Steven Reed. That does not surprise Starishevsky, all too familiar with prosecuting such cases.

Her book and Web site have become a resource for parents and educators, she said, since there are few books that address the issue, and none geared for children ages 3 to 8.

Her book initially caught the attention of several publishing companies, but she decided to self-publish after they wanted her to change a line in the book where the child is actually abused.

"I was told parents wouldn't buy it if the girl was abused," said Starishevsky, who has already proved them wrong with hundreds of books already sold.

"That didn't make sense to me. I wanted to get the real message out, so I had to do it my way."

around the blogs said...

Religion & Sex Abuse (2)
Posted by Atheist Under Ur Bed on March 5th, 2009

I found the following story as I was checking my daily list of news sources last night *after* I posted my last entry. It confirms and extends so many of the points I made that I feel compelled to repost it here now before it gets lost in the noise of all the other important news I want to share in the hours and days ahead:

—– Shame Of Sexual Abuse Among Believers; Religious Communities Slow To Uproot Cultures Of Silence (Rebecca Dube/The Jewish Daily Forward; March 4)

On the surface, Joseph Diangelo and Flora Jessop couldn’t look more different.

Diangelo grew up in a Hasidic community in Brooklyn. Jessop was raised in a polygamous compound, part of a fundamentalist Mormon sect on the Utah-Arizona border.

But as Diangelo listened to Jessop tell her harrowing tale of abuse, forced marriage, spiritual threats, rape and eventual escape, he found himself nodding in recognition.

“I thought she was talking about me,” Diangelo said. Raped in a mikveh as a boy, he is now estranged from his family. (He changed his last name after leaving Orthodox Judaism.) “She said it so perfectly,” Diangelo said, “how any complaints get shoved under the rug.”

The details may differ from a dusty Arizona desert to a bustling Williamsburg street corner. But experts at the March 2 conference, held in Manhattan at Yeshiva Universitys Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, said that many strict religious communities offer similar advantages to sexual predators: adults who trust their religious leaders without reservation; reluctance to report abuse to outside authorities; and a culture, consisting of silence and shame, that conspires to keep victims quiet.

“It is a rule that the believers may not tell anybody else about the abuse,” whether among Orthodox Jews, Mormons or Catholics, said Marci Hamilton, Cardozo law professor and author of Justice Denied: What America Must Do To Protect Its Children published in 2008. “The big winner in that universe is the pedophile.”

There are no reliable studies on rates of child sexual predation in Orthodox Jewish communities. But when Brooklyns Democratic New York State Assembly Member Dov Hikind used his weekly radio show last year to invite individuals molested as children to contact him, he quickly compiled more than 1,000 accounts he considered credible from local listeners.

“If youre a pedophile, the best place for you to come to are some of the Jewish communities,” Hikind said. “Why? Because you can be a pedophile and no ones going to do anything.”

Studies of Americas general population indicate a rate of child molestation of about 25% for girls and 20% for boys, Hamilton said.

“There is no reason to believe that this rate differs in the Orthodox Jewish community,” said sociologist Hella Winston, who has studied the issue.

Close-knit Orthodox communities enforce the rule of silence with special vigor, said Rabbi Yosef Blau of Yeshiva University. Mesirah, the halachic misdeed of informing on fellow Jews to secular authorities, was once a mere prohibition, but it has been elevated to a virtual taboo, Blau said at the conference. That taboo may have made sense historically, when Jews lived in hostile nations surrounded by antisemitic authorities, but it doesn’t work for children in America.

“Every abuser knows how to throw around the term, to say, ‘How could you?’” he added.

Abuse and cover-up allegations have rocked the Orthodox world in the past few years, but so far they haven’t prompted the tidal wave of lawsuits that ultimately forced the Catholic Church to publicly address its history of such problems.

Recently, some prominent ultra-Orthodox leaders have acknowledged the problem exists. But many in the community continue to believe publicity around the issue is overblown.

Some observers have said that Orthodox Judaism, as an institution, is now where Catholics were a decade ago in terms of dealing with child sexual abuse by clergy. But there are some important nuances, Blau said.

Catholicism is highly centralized, with a clear chain of command from the lowliest parish priest right up to the pope. In the church scandal, senior clerics knowingly transferred priests accused of molesting children from parish to unsuspecting parish, allowing them to continue their pattern of predation.

In Orthodox Jewish communities, some yeshivas are also alleged to cover up for and protect rabbinic predators. Even when problems are identified, there is no central tracking system, and nothing to stop a rabbi fired for predation from getting a job with a congregation or school down the block or in another town.

Blau said that means that the only way to stop abusers is to report them to the secular authorities - no matter how strongly that runs counter to years of tradition and indoctrination against “informing.”

“Our obligation is to protect children. What we have to do is find a way of breaking the taboo,” Blau said.

David Framowitz, who in 2006 filed a $20 million lawsuit with others against Rabbi Yehuda Kolko and Yeshiva Torah Temimah for alleged sexual abuse, said getting Orthodox Jews to turn to outsiders for help will be an uphill battle.

“Most people aren’t willing to understand that this might be a major problem within the community, and they don’t understand that the rabbis aren’t capable of dealing with this problem,” Framowitz said.

The outcome of cases like Framowitz’s will make a big difference in the willingness of Orthodox victims and their families to report sexual abuse, Blau predicted.

“We take two steps forward, one step back. Lawsuits take a long time. If one of these suits actually wins a big judgment, then everything will change,” the rabbi said. “Recent revelations have begun to penetrate the denial, but we lack the internal means to deal with the crisis.”

Advocates for abused children are also lobbying hard for a bill before the New York State Assembly that would add five years to the statute of limitations on crimes of child sexual abuse, and create a one-year window in which people could file claims on old cases. The changes are desperately needed, Hamilton, the law professor, said, because many survivors of childhood sexual abuse don’t come to terms with their abuse until well into their 20s or later.

In the meantime, Blau said, the best hope for breaking the silence and ending the communal taboo lies not with leadership from powerful rabbis, but with anonymous voices on the Internet sharing their stories and questioning the status quo.

“Blogs. Thats whats going to change it,” Blau said. “There are no secrets in the world of the Internet. You can’t control it, you can’t stop them.”

Recently, a group formed that consists of adults who say they were molested as children in the Orthodox community. Known as Survivors for Justice, the group members recognize the barrier that victim isolation poses to exposing and acting on the problem. The group offers those who have been through similar experiences a place to tell their story, and provides them assistance with the often intimidating process of going to the authorities.

Jessop, who has helped numerous other women and girls escape the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, applauded the development.

“In a society where we teach our children they do not have the right to stand up to adults, we teach our children to be victims from the very beginning,” Jessop said. “We’ve got to stand up, find our strength and become our own heroes in order to make a change.”

AnAtheiest.net

Anonymous said...

Weingarten is innocent. I do not believe his ex-wife or his shiktza daughter.

Malka Leifer said...

BOUNTIFUL, UT - Two female Utah junior high school teachers have been arrested for sexual abuse of a teenage student.

penetration scheinberg said...

Does this mean a lady can actually penetrate a boy - or is it the other way around?

I don't know if we can rule there was penetration when it involves female offenders.
*********************************

Earlier this week, 46-year-old Linda Nef, a Utah Studies teacher and cheerleading advisor at Bountiful Junior High suddenly resigned. She then showed up with her attorney at the Bountiful Police Department with a shocking confession.


From December 2007 to February 2008, she said she had been having sex with a 13-year-old boy.


She also said another teacher was sexually involved with the same student


That teacher was identified as 39 year old Valynne Bowers, a math teacher.


Bountiful police arrested Bowers. Both women will be charged with forcible sodomy and the rape of a child.

posek belsky said...

Careful now. The tzsibur should be aware that loshon hora about rabbonim will be met with a personal sheloach maonos on purim this year. It will be an hazmana to bais din.

Why do you think I defended kolko & margo for? Loshan horah about a rebbi is not to be believed.

David Niederman said...

my opinion is that if the fondling occurred through the clothing it must have not been that bad. And I'm willing to bet that on a scale of 1-10 it does not have any negative effects on the child's health.

a yid who cares said...

Ah freilechin purim EM! May you have much gezunt and happiness.

exposemolesters said...

A Yid,

Same to you. Stay in touch!

exposemolesters said...

David Framowitz is an inspiration to me and many others. Chazak - and may justice come sooner rather than later.

Happy Purim to all.

http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c55_a15046/Editorial__Opinion/Opinion.html
====================================

Action, Not Talk, Needed In Combating Sexual Abuse

by David Framowitz
Special To The Jewish Week
When I arrived at the Boro Park Y last Sunday for Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind’s morning of chizuk (strength) for survivors of sexual abuse, I really didn’t know what to expect. But my first reaction upon hearing about the event was that victims don’t need a day of prayer; we are not the sick ones. What we do need is for the community leadership to publicly acknowledge that there is a problem and to direct the victims of abuse and their families to the police. It is only by doing this that we can protect our children and obtain justice.

But my curiosity got the better of me and I went. After all, since I came forward three years ago with my story
charging abuse at the hands of Yehuda Kolko, numerous other victims of child sexual abuse have come forward to tell theirs — some of them most recently to Dov Hikind. Hikind began speaking about the issue on his radio show last summer and, to his self-confessed horror, the broadcasts prompted a flood of calls and visits to his office by victims. This ultimately led him to form a task force to address the problem he says is of epidemic proportions. I wanted to hear what he had to say.

I listened as speaker after speaker said nice things about Hikind’s role in bringing this issue to the forefront, and also about the need to protect our children. One rabbi even gave specifics, claiming that one of the solutions to this problem lies in our making sure that all classroom doors have unblocked windows and that no student is ever alone with a teacher.

All fine and good. But not one speaker actually uttered the words “sexual abuse.” And, even more amazing and disturbing, particularly considering Hikind’s claims that he has collected information about thousands of cases of sexual abuse, there was no mention of the imperative to report suspected molesters to the police. Instead, there was talk of balancing Jewish law and civil law and the need to work with rabbis in order to address the problem.

I am no scholar. But even I know that Jewish law dictates that it is incumbent upon anyone with knowledge of the existence of an abuser to report the abuser to the police. This is not my opinion. This is undisputed halacha as recently publicized in the written opinion of the most revered fervently Orthodox rabbinic leader alive today, Harav Elyashiv.

While Hikind and his fellow apologists talk of compromise solutions that involve rabbis and further cover-up, children are continuing to be abused.

Sadly, the history of the past 40 years has shown us the dangers of trusting our rabbis with issues related to sexual abuse. Their instinct is to protect the reputation of their communities by covering up the incidents and intimidating the victims into silence. It seems the occasional death is an acceptable price to them.
I know I’ll be on my flight back to Israel this week with these unanswered questions racing through my mind. I know my brethren will ultimately do the right thing and protect their children using the only means available to us — the police and justice system. I also know that as well meaning as Hikind may be, his actions serve only to protect the monsters within our community.

At the close of Sunday’s event, I asked Hikind when he’d be releasing the names of the pedophiles whose names he had been given. After all, how can parents protect their children if they don’t know from whom they must protect them? If Hikind had not run away from me after responding “Never,” I would have asked how he can possibly live with the knowledge that children are still suffering at the hands of some of those pedophiles.

While we wait for Hikind to respond, I hope parents take this to heart and if, God forbid, are ever faced with an incident, will immediately go directly to the police.

David Framowitz, who lives in Israel, is a founding member of Survivors for Justice, a group that advocates on behalf of victims of sexual abuse.

The Evening Sun said...

Alleged molester, victim both charged
Police say victim taped confession, demanded money to keep silent
By KATHARINE HARMON

The Evening Sun
03/09/2009

A Gettysburg resident who says an older man molested him 20 years ago went to confront him with a hidden tape recorder, police say, and got him to confess.

Find out how:

http://www.eveningsun.com/ci_11866628

Oregon child molester sentenced to 80 years said...

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

EUGENE, Ore. -- A twice-convicted child molester has been sentenced to 80 years in prison, virtually assuring he will never be free again.

The Register-Guard newspaper in Eugene reported that 43-year-old Bryan Erwin Fallis was given the mandatory sentence after a jury convicted him last week of multiple counts of rape, sodomy and sex abuse involving a 9-year-old girl.

Police said the crimes occurred in Oakridge during 2007 and 2008.

Lane County Circuit Court Judge Debra Vogt rejected a defense request to sentence Fallis to 25 years in prison.

Vogt called Ellis a predatory pedophile, telling him that he would remain in prison the rest of his life.

Charles Robert Wilson said...

http://www.mercedsunstar.com/local/story/722679.html
----------------------------------

Man guilty of molestation, murder try
He's facing as much as a 200-year prison sentence on April 3.
By VICTOR A. PATTON
vpatton@mercedsun-star.com
N5MOLEST3
Merced Sun-Star

SUN-STAR PHOTO BY MARCI STENBERG Merced's sheriff's Deputy Adam Deniz places handcuffs on convicted molester Robert Wilson, after a jury brought inthe verdict of guilty on all 21 counts, Thursday March5, 2009 morning, in Merced Superior Court's Judge Carol Ash courtroom 3.

External Link Video: Attorney reacts to guilty verdict

Charles Robert Wilson spent years tormenting his stepchildren -- but it only took jurors one day to determine his fate: guilty on 21 counts of rape, attempted murder and child molestation.

Staring into space and wearing a blank expression, Wilson was silent Thursday as a clerk read the decision reached by the jury of seven men and five women.

The former Army serviceman was convicted of molesting the two children between 2002 and 2004 in Merced County, although prosecutors believe the abuse also happened in Tacoma, Wash., El Paso, Texas, and Germany. Prosecutors said the children, a brother and sister younger than 14 when the abuse happened in Merced, were molested by Wilson while their mother was at work.

Although Wilson, 33, displayed no emotion Thursday, the victims' 33-year-old mother wept after the first verdict was read. A female juror also shed tears as the verdicts were read.

Prosecutor David Sandhaus said Wilson ranks as one of the most malevolent and sadistic sexual predators he's ever convicted in nearly 20 years as a prosecutor.

Wilson forced the children to have sex with each other. He had sex with the girl so often that she couldn't count the number of times she was abused. "The thing that makes this guy so horrible is his desire to inflict emotional pain and physical harm on these children," Sandhaus said. "He wanted these children to hurt and be in pain for the rest of their lives."

Hayden Smith, the defendant's attorney, declined comment after the verdicts were read.

The victims' mother said she was relieved by the verdicts, although her children are still recovering from the abuse. "I'm just glad it's finally over," she said.

The great-grandmother of the female victim described her as a survivor and "a sweetheart." The girl, who's now 18, is also seeing a counselor regularly, the woman said.

Sandhaus said Wilson's conviction means that he's facing several life terms behind bars. Sandhaus said he hopes Judge Carol Ash will sentence Wilson to at least 218 years and eight months behind bars.

If Wilson does receive that sentence, he'll probably die in prison before he's eligible for parole.

Jurors also convicted Wilson of trying to hire a hitman to kill his family. During the summer of 2008, Wilson approached an inmate named Paul Perez, intending to have a hired gun kill his two stepchildren. The hit list also included their mother, her boyfriend and his own biological daughter.

Perez, however, notified law enforcement. An undercover officer, posing as a hitman, met Wilson at the jail. The officer, who was wearing a hidden camera, recorded video footage of Wilson agreeing to have his family murdered -- for $30,000. Wilson also told that officer that if he couldn't pay, he'd work off the debt by moving drugs or helping him dispose of bodies after future hits.

Despite Perez's criminal past as a convicted sex offender, Sandhaus said he did the right thing by stepping forward to help law enforcement. Otherwise, the family could have been murdered. "Maybe without Perez, someone could have carried this out," Sandhaus said.

The children's mother reported the abuse to Merced police in October 2005. Authorities arrested Wilson in Louisiana in 2007 and sent him back to Merced for prosecution.

Wilson is scheduled to be sentenced on April 3.

Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsun-star.com.

Judge Geraghty Goofs-Up said...

Fury at lenience on child molester

RONALD Dean King is a 23-year-old Aboriginal man with a long criminal history. He is addicted to drugs and alcohol. He has never had a paid job.

On November 23, 2007, King broke into a home in the northern NSW town of Grafton. He got in through the back door. It was in two halves and secured with a nail. King crawled through the bottom section.

He went into a room where a four-year-old girl was sleeping. He switched off her night light. He took off his pants and underpants, and he took off her pyjama pants and underpants, and assaulted her. He masturbated himself, and ejaculated all over the bed.

The little girl woke up part way through the assault. She was so terrified, she could not stop shaking, not even when two of her sisters got into bed with her afterwards, and sandwiched her between them, to try to get her to sleep.

King left the house, stopping to take a can of soft drink from the fridge. He smashed the front window of the family's car, and tried to drive it away, but couldn't get it started.

According to NSW District Court judge Chris Geraghty, this break and enter and this rape of a four-year-old girl are an offence at the "lower end" of seriousness. Ejaculating over the girl's body, her clothes and her bed was no more than a "moment of drunken madness".

"You need to be punished," Justice Geraghty told King, at his sentencing hearing on February 5.

"But you will punish yourself for it."

To the outrage of many in the community, Judge Geraghty -- who could have given King 15 years or more -- instead gave him a two-year suspended sentence, and put him on a two-year good behaviour bond.

There is anger, too, that all the sympathy in his judgment is directed not towards the little girl, but towards the man who assaulted her.

Judge Geraghty told King the seriousness of the offence was mitigated by the fact that "the child when assaulted was asleep" and there was "no evidence of major damage" to
her vagina and "no evidence before me of any continuing damage, either physical or psychological".

These assertions have outraged the girl's parents, who say they have had to move away from the area to escape the memory of the crime. Their girl, now five, has nightmares and their marriage is under strain.

Jan Connors, who examined the girl after she was assaulted, did in fact find signs of trauma in her vagina. The girl had symptoms of pain on urination, and tenderness during the examination process. Dr Connors said the trauma would have been caused by penetration.

King was drunk when arrested, and told police: "I did not rape her but I did go there and I did molest her ... I was leaning over and masturbating and then I f..ked off and I left my shirt and shit there ... and that's the dead-set truth."

King said he acted without thinking. "She was there, and I was there, I don't know, I just started masturbating her and then started jerking off and shit."

Judge Geraghty told King the offence was "unimaginable" and the "community looks down on such offences with horror", but he still decided it was "below the mid-range of seriousness and toward the lower end of the scale".

He said King was "profoundly ashamed" of what he'd done, "terribly sorry", "deeply embarrassed" and "accepted the little girl was afraid and scared". He noted King had described himself as "scum of the earth".

He concluded: "This is a terrible thing you did. I know you understand that".

Judge Geraghty retired from the bench soon after handing down the sentence. The Weekend Australian tried to reach him this week but he wasn't at the northern Sydney home he's owned with his wife since 1985, and didn't answer the phone at their country property.

Geraghty has previously been open about his thoughts and his experiences. In 2006, he published a book called The Priest Factory about the stately, stone St Patrick's College in Manly, where he trained as a Catholic priest. He also wrote Cassocks in the Wilderness about his unhappy time at a seminary in the Blue Mountains, where he was schooled from the age of 12. He left the priesthood in 1976, after 14 years. Before joining the District Court, he was a judge of the NSW Compensation Court.

Some of Geraghty's judgments were appealed by the offenders, for their toughness. Others were appealed by the Crown for "manifest inadequacy".

In 2007, he jailed an extremely dangerous sex offender, Steven Roy Davis, for seven years, but backdated the sentence to the time of the crime (2001) meaning he would have been out on the streets last year.

The state Government was horrified. Davis had in 1993 been found guilty of two serious sex offences. In August of the previous year, he smashed his way into a woman's house at Kemp's Creek, threatened to kill her and sexually assaulted her. In October 1992 he sexually assaulted an agriculture teacher working in the sheds at St Mary's College, using a knife to threaten her.

Davis was sentenced to a total of eight years for those crimes. Immediately on being released, in 2001, he attacked a woman in inner Sydney Darlinghurst, grabbing her around the throat. He was found unfit to plead, but in 2006 the courts decided he was fit to be tried.

In February 2007 he came before Judge Geraghty, who decided on a term of seven years, backdated to time of the crime. In other words, he was almost due for release. The state of NSW immediately applied to have Davis held in custody, pending psychiatric examinations, saying there was a very high risk that he'd reoffend.

In September 2007, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal doubled to five years a sentence Geraghty imposed on Hong Kong-born money launderer See Hon Siu, who had shuffled more than half a million dollars through local bank accounts.

In June 2007, the same court doubled a two-year suspended sentence Geraghty gave to Lebanese-born drug addict Ibrahim Naji, who robbed two convenience stores with black-handled metal scissors, threatening to kill the staff.

In March 2006, the court quashed a sentence Geraghty gave to a burglar, saying he had erred when he described him as a "petty thief". The offender had 16 previous counts of break, enter and steal on his record.

University of South Australia child welfare professor Freda Briggs described Geraghty's decision not to jail King as "inexplicable".

"All the research showing that child sex abuse can cause life-long, serious harm, damaging victims' social and emotional development and lead to long term mental illness. But some members of the judiciary continue to treat offenders lightly," Briggs said.

"My concern is that without a prison sentence of more than 18 months, child sex offenders are unlikely to receive any treatment to attempt to change their perception of children as sex objects for their personal use.

"There is a clear need for the judiciary to be educated in all aspects of child abuse."

Local state MP, Steve Cansdell, was livid.

"He attacked an innocent child. He doesn't even deny it. It's a complete and total disaster, incredible to me, to anyone," he said. "The monster should be locked up in jail."

The sentence will be appealed, but NSW Attorney-General John Hatzistergos wouldn't be drawn on the details yesterday.

Instead, his spokesman produced a statement he had had released two days ago, saying: "The Sentencing Council was looking at ways of ensuring the standard non-parole period was enforced."

As for Geraghty, he hopes that King -- the offender, not the victim -- can rebuild his life.

"This is your opportunity," he told him at the sentencing.

"Make it up and you will only have yourself to blame."

Releasing King into the community, he added: "I wish you all the best."

Anonymous said...

http://www.frumsatire.net/2009/03/05/should-sexual-abuse-in-the-frum-community-be-publicized/

Should sexual abuse in the frum community be publicized?
March 5th, 2009 · 51 Comments

There is nothing funny about a 9 year old girl getting molested by her supposedly ultra orthodox father, but its all over the news and quite controversial, and of course I like to have my finger on the pulse of what people really think - since I am not Vos Iz Neias or Yeshiva World News which tend to censor any discussion on their site as if they were the Chinese or Iranian Government.

I am curious to know if you think it should be posted on national news that the orthodox Jewish community is plagued by many of the problems that occur in any other community. Part of me thinks that publicizing is good, for it allows transparency and forces community leaders to fess up and try and come up with solutions.

Then of course you have the side that thinks its a chillul Hashem, of course it is a chillul Hashem, but these people tend to think women wearing red, people drinking non-kosher water and blogs like mine are also a chillul Hashem.

Is it better to hide the problems or publicize them?

51 responses so far ↓

*

1 Anonymous // Mar 5, 2009 at 10:25 am

Th victims privacy needs to be kept, but the predators need to be outed. We cannot turn a blind eye.
Unfortunately our communities are not protecting our children anymore. They choose to protect the predators, so that their families will get good shidduchim…. This is an issue that angers me so much.
So many victims are scared to speak up, and when they do a lot of times they are not believed. We need to put a stop to this. There needs to be a way for people to anonymously report abuse, and the abusers be outed internationally.

Shimon said...

Fighting over the Torah (literally).

Torah ownership dispute goes to Superior Court in Los Angeles
The widow of a North Hollywood rabbi says her husband only lent them to his assistant. Local Jewish court ruled in her favor; an appeal in Israel is also pending.

A rancorous legal fight over the rightful ownership of four Torahs has spilled from religious to civil courts in Los Angeles, with the widow of one Orthodox rabbi accusing another of stealing scrolls lent to him by her deceased husband.

Once confined to an obscure Jewish legal system, the case of Pauker vs. Ohana is scheduled to go before a Superior Court judge next month, complete with accusations of legal misconduct, forgery and sheer chutzpah...

circus show said...

Rabbi Israel Weingarten's daughter claims mother was sexual abuser in trial

BY John Marzulli
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Monday, March 9th 2009, 9:33 PM
Jane Rosenberg

Rabbi Israel Weingarten cross examines his daughter Chaneh, during his molestation trial on Monday in Brooklyn.
The Weingarten Trial
Articles

* Rabbi's daughter tells of father's sexual abuse
* Rabbi cross-examines daughter at molest trial
* Accused perv rabbi grills crying daughter on details
* Ex: Rabbi half-nude with our daughter

Enough already.

A federal judge refused Monday to allow a rabbi charged with molesting his daughter to turn the courtroom into the "Jerry Springer" show.

The defendant, Israel Weingarten, who is acting as his own attorney, called two grown daughters Monday to testify that it was their mother who was the child molester, not him.

When Weingarten said he planned to call three more children, ages 13 to 18, to take the stand in Brooklyn Federal Court, the judge had enough.

"Your 13-year-old son is going to testify about sexual abuse by your wife?" Judge John Gleeson asked.

Weingarten replied that the boy would testify to physical abuse by his mother.

"I'm not going to permit it," Gleeson snapped.

Earlier the judge had allowed Weingarten's daughters Chayeh, 23, and Chaneh, 20, to testify that their mother had sexually abused their older sister, who claims she was repeatedly sodomized by her father starting in 1990 when she was 9 and continuing until she was 18.

Chayeh Weingarten testified her mother had sexually abused the victim and that she was warned by the victim that the Mafia would get her if she came forward.

The defendant is charged with transporting his daughter across international borders for the purpose of committing sexual crimes against her.

In her closing argument, prosecutor Rachel Nash asked the jury to consider the humiliation and embarrassment the victim endured by speaking publicly of the abuse.

The rabbi and his wife are divorced and he has claimed that she fabricated the abuse allegations as part of the bitter breakup.

jmarzulli@nydailynews.com

venoyapuchu said...

Neturei Karta, a radical sect disowned by virtually the entire Jewish world for their alliances with enemies of the Jews such as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and deceased former PLO head Yasser Arafat, claims a membership of only a few thousand people around the world. They "oppose the so-called "State of Israel" not because it operates secularly, but because the entire concept of a sovereign Jewish state is contrary to Jewish Law," according to their website.

Pamphlets distributed by the organization demanded Jews refrain from wearing costumes resembling anyone who provides national service to the State of Israel, including policemen, ZAKA emergency medical care crew, rescue workers, and soldiers.

Such clothes, according to the pamphlet, belong to "the Zionist Amalek", insinuating that the State of Israel is related to the primary enemy of the Jewish people in the Torah, the nation of Amalek.

Sholom Rubashkin said...

I am not having a good purim.

-

UNITED STATES-MEAT BOSS HAS TO FACE TRIAL.

A federal judge has rejected a motion to dismiss illegal immigration and bank fraud charges against a kosher slaughterhouse and a former manager charged after the plant was raided.

Chief Judge Linda Reade on Friday rejected claims from attorneys of Agriprocessors Inc. and Sholom Rubashkin that grand jury proceedings were tainted by improper comments about religion, race and anti-Semitism.
Reade says the court found no impropriety and that the defendants mischaracterized "innocuous statements and questions" made by grand jury witnesses.
Attorney Guy Cook says he would speak with Rubashkin about "action regarding the ruling."
Attorney Jim Clarity says Agriprocessors understands the ruling and is prepared to move forward with a defense.

fatso margo said...

I vant to eat de purim seidua but i ebject t dis looshon hara. No vay should ve publicise this at all.
.............................

Should sexual abuse in the frum community be publicized?

Anonymous said...

Hikind is a corrupt politician.
Do not trust him one bit.

He sent his kids to Toras Emes where there was rampant abuse of the poor children who went there. he obviously doesn't care.

Rabbi Israel Weingarten makes final plea at kid molest trial said...

BY John Marzulli
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Wednesday, March 11th 2009, 2:17 AM
Related News
Articles

* Shocker at rabbi molest trial
* Accused perv rabbi grills crying daughter on details
* Rabbi's daughter tells of father's sexual abuse
* Ex: Rabbi half-nude with our daughter
* Rabbi cross-examines daughter at molest trial

A Brooklyn jury Tuesday began deliberating the fate of a Hasidic rabbi charged with molesting his daughter in New York, Belgium and Israel.

Israel Weingarten faces up to 50 years in prison if he's convicted of the shocking charges, which were brought in federal court because he is accused of transporting the victim in and out of the country to commit sexual crimes against her.

Acting as his own attorney, Weingarten delivered a rambling 90-minute closing argument Tuesday to the jury, who at times during the week-long trial appeared repulsed by his cross-examination of the victim, his ex-wife and son.

"I'm not used to what I'm doing," Weingarten explained to the jurors. "I had to [represent myself]. I had no other way."

He suggested his daughter had an intimate relationship with a married man in Antwerp that led her to fabricate the charges against him.

Weingarten, 59, is charged with sexually abusing the victim starting in 1990 when she was 9 until she reached the age of 18.

"Why did this child never bring a tape recorder when this was happening?" he said. "It's impossible. It's not true."

The sordid charges have split the Satmar community, with one faction believing the victim's claim and others believing she's lying and that the actual abuser is her mother, according to court papers.

After five hours of deliberations, the jurors asked Judge John Gleeson if they could go home and resume Wednesday.

jmarzulli@nydailynews.com

The Jewish Week said...

http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c36_a15146/News/New_York.html

Sex-Abuse Statute Of Limitations May Be Extended
“Numerous studies have shown that victims of childhood sexual abuse typically cannot come forward for decades after the abuse occurred,” said Marci Hamilton, a professor at Cardozo Law School and the author of “Justice Denied.” She supports legislation to extend the statute of limitations.

“Numerous studies have shown that victims of childhood sexual abuse typically cannot come forward for decades after the abuse occurred,” said Marci Hamilton, a professor at Cardozo Law School and the author of “Justice Denied.” She supports legislation to extend the statute of limitations.

by Hella Winston
Special To The Jewish Week
Survivors for Justice, a support and advocacy organization formed by victims of child sexual abuse in the fervently Orthodox world, traveled to Albany this week to educate legislators about the problem of child sexual abuse in their communities and to discuss legislative efforts to help curb it and aid victims in seeking redress.
Legislation is currently pending in both the State Assembly and Senate to extend the criminal and civil statute of limitations on these claims, and to open a one-year “window” in which previously time-barred victims can file civil suits.
“We believe this legislation is crucial,” said Lonnie Soury, a spokesman for the group. “[Many] of the cases that SJF has been involved in are perfect examples of the need for this legislation.”

/>One such case is that of David Framowitz, a founding member of Survivors for Justice, who alleges he was abused by a yeshiva teacher when he was 12 but found himself unable to come forward until his 40s. This is not uncommon, according to Marci Hamilton, a professor at Cardozo Law School and the author of “Justice Denied.”
“Numerous studies have shown that victims of childhood sexual abuse typically cannot come forward for decades after the abuse occurred,” Hamilton said. “They are literally disabled from getting to court. It is simply a scientific fact that it is difficult for them to understand the magnitude of the harm, that they lost their childhood and that their current problems were caused by the abuse until much later in life,” Hamilton said.
In addition to the psychological issues that can prevent many victims from coming forward within the current time limit, intimidation by abusers and their protectors is also a significant factor in the delay.
“Usually these institutions that allow these predators to remain, and have historically allowed them to remain, work very hard to keep the victims quiet,” said Michael Dowd, an attorney who has successfully represented victims of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. “That, in addition to the shame and embarrassment, is a very powerful and compelling force.”
According to Dowd, the current statute of limitations has served not only to protect predators but allowed them to continue molesting unhindered, thereby victimizing what often amounts to “hundreds” of children over the course of a lifetime.
Currently in New York State, there is a five-year statute of limitations past the age of majority (18) for people to bring civil suits based on sexual abuse claims. The proposed legislation would extend that maximum age another five years, to the age of 28. More significantly, the bill would allow for a one-year “window” in which people who allege they were sexually abused can file civil actions, regardless of when the abuse took place.
The new bill is sponsored in the Assembly by Margaret Markey and in the Senate by Tom Duane.
An alternative bill was filed in the Assembly on Feb. 19 by Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez (D-Brooklyn). This measure would add only two years to the statute-of-limitations period and contains no window for filing retroactive suits for past abuse. Lopez’s bill does not contain provisions for raising the criminal statute of limitations from age 23 to 28 and does not currently have a Senate sponsor, a significant obstacle to its passage.
The Assembly Codes Committee is expected to consider Markey’s bill early next week, according to a spokesman for her office.
Some of the main opposition to the Markey-Duane bill is coming from the New York State Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the Catholic Church in New York State. The group’s bishops met with Gov. David Paterson on Monday and legislators, including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, on Tuesday as part of their annual lobbying day in Albany. A spokesman for the Conference, Dennis Poust, told The Jewish Week, that the Conference does not support the Markey bill because of the one-year window.
“We can’t support a bill that has a look-back because frankly the ramifications that we saw in California were disastrous. It cost the church a billion dollars in settlements. People [came forward] from 50-60 years ago,” Poust said. While he also argued that the bill “is designed to devastate the Church, but leave public institutions unscathed,” he did concede, however, that even if it were amended to include provisions for suing public institutions, the Conference would not support it.
Poust also said that his organization has “been working with Jewish organizations, though not terribly closely. I think we’ve had conversations with different representatives of the major Orthodox organizations, the [Orthodox Union] and the Agudath Israel. I’m not sure that any of them have taken positions yet,” he added.
David Zwiebel, executive vice president for government and public affairs at Agudath Israel told The Jewish Week that the group is “studying” both the Markey and Lopez bills, but does not “have anything definitive to report [on the statute-of-limitations issue]. He also added that he “imagine[s] we will have a formal position within the next two weeks or so, unless we hear that the legislation is on a fast track and requires a more immediate statement.”
Survivors for Justice is hoping that Agudath Israel will come out in favor of Markey’s bill.
“SFJ does not accept the possibility that an organization as influential as the Agudath Israel would work with the element of the Catholic Church that seeks to continue to deny justice to past victims and protection to our children. The Agudath and the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah (Council of Torah Sages) stands for a much higher ideal and we have every hope and belief that they will abide by established halacha, which does not recognize the existence of any statue of limitations but rather relies upon the validity of the evidence presented in each case and be vocal supporters of the Markey bill,” said spokesman Soury.
For Joel Engelman, another founding member of the organization who told his story first to The Jewish Week last summer, opening a window in the statute of limitations is his “last hope.” Engelman, who filed a $5 million lawsuit against the yeshiva that employs a teacher he alleges molested him when he was 8 years old, believed he had reached an agreement with the school not to go public with the allegations if they agreed to remove the teacher from the classroom. While the teacher, Avrohom Reichman, was let go for a time, he was reinstated several weeks after Engelman’s 23rd birthday. Because Engelman’s age puts the alleged acts beyond the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution or civil suit, Engelman’s lawyer is seeking entrée to the court with a novel legal theory involving a claim of fraudulent inducement, the success of which is uncertain. While Engleman has become aware of other allegations against the teacher, Reichman remains employed by the school to this day, something that infuriates Engelman particularly because he believes other children remain in harm’s way.
“If the school won’t do anything and the community won’t do anything, and the criminal statute doesn’t apply, this is my last hope [to make sure no other children are hurt].”

USA against Israel Wingarten said...

Israel weingarten's brother shares his statement to the court
http://usaagainstisraelweingarten.blogspot.com/2009/05/israel-weingartens-brother-shares-his.html

About Me

My photo
It is unfortunate that it has come to this. It is a big darn shame it has come to this. It is very hurtful that it has come to this. But yet, IT HAS COME TO THIS. It has come at the price of a GREAT CHILUL HASHEM. It has come to Hashem having to allow his holy name to be DESECRATED so that his CHILDREN remain SAFE. Shame on all those responsible for enabling and permitting Hashem's name to be desecrated! When you save children you save the future. You save the future you save generations. You save generations you save lives. You save lives you have saved the world!!!!!!!