Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Brooklyn Man testifies Rabbi Baruch Lebovitz molested him as teenager

In a halting voice, a 22-year-old man on Wednesday accused a Brooklyn rabbi of repeatedly molesting him when he was a teenager.


stupified said...

Supporters of Rabbi Baruch Lebovits packed the courtroom

Same pattern repeats itself. Victim gets no support. Accused is flooded with supporters. My prediction is another miscarriage of justice. Lebovits walks free.

Anonymous said...

The saddest part is Baruch Lebovits did this for so many years and nobody did anything. They had to know.

around the blogs said...

Letter from Rabbi Avi Weiss to RCA President Rabbi Moshe Kletenik

Dear Rabbi Kletenik,

This has been a most challenging time. The change in title from “Maharat” to “Rabba” has precipitated a level of controversy in the Orthodox community that was neither expected nor intended. In light of the tension caused to our greater community and my commitment to the principle of gadol hashalom, I share the following:

It is not my intention or the intention of Yeshivat Maharat to confer the title of “Rabba” upon its graduates. Yeshivat Maharat prepares women for positions of religious leadership in the Orthodox community. Each student who completes its course of study in Tanakh, Talmud, Halakha and Jewish Thought, and is deemed fit by her faith, knowledge of our Mesoret, ethical integrity and temperament to assume positions of religious leadership in Orthodox institutions will be confirmed as manhigah hilkhatit, ruhanit, toranit (Maharat).

They will have been prepared to provide varied forms of communal and synagogue leadership in accordance with halakha. They will also have been trained in pastoral counseling, as well as having the ability to answer questions of halakha to those who seek them out, as has been recognized and well established in both classical and contemporary halakhic sources.

I hope that good will emerge from all of this, and that some of the meaningful conversation and communication that has taken place these past few weeks between myself and yourself as the President of the Rabbinical Council of America, might continue. I thank you for your candor and your receptiveness.

In the prayer that we all continue to work for the betterment of Am Yisrael–



JTA said...

Rabbi’s sexual abuse trial opens

March 4, 2010

(JTA) -- The alleged victim took the stand as the sexual molestation case against a rabbi began in a New York courtroom.

Rabbi Baruch Lebovits, 59, who owns a travel agency in Borough Park, is accused of sexually molesting a Jewish teenager in 2004 and 2005. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted of a criminal sexual act in the second degree.

The alleged victim, now 22, testified Wednesday in Brooklyn Supreme Court that the rabbi assaulted him in his car several times over a 10-month period, luring him into the vehicle with promises that he could drive, the New York Daily News reported.

He is no longer a part of the Chasidic community and has been treated for drug addictions that began after the alleged assaults, the paper said.

Lebovits' lawyer in opening statements called the alleged victim a "con man."

Lebovits is awaiting trial on charges of molesting two others, according to the Daily News.

Ynet said...,7340,L-3857882,00.html

US rabbi charged with sexually abusing teen

Rabbi Baruch Lebovits indicted for sexually assaulting Brooklyn teenager five years ago. Complainant says reason for his delay in reporting abuse due to closed-off nature of community

Published: 03.04.10, 13:16 / Israel News

The Jewish community in Brooklyn is ablaze following an indictment filed against a rabbi charged with sexually assaulting teenagers. A 22-year-old man testified in court for the first time Wednesday and said that the rabbi lured him into his car where he sexually assaulted him when he was a teenager, the New York Daily News has reported.

Rabbi Baruch Lebovits, 59, has been charged with sexual assault following a line of incidents which allegedly occurred in 2004 and 2005. The prosecution claims that Lebovits assaulted the man on several occasions.

Asked whether the rabbi said anything during the attack the young man, who appeared distressed, replied "He said something but I don't remember." Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Patricia DiMango repeatedly asked him to speak up. Asked how he was feeling the young man replied, "Very uncomfortable and confused."

The man said that the rabbi's abuse had ruined his life describing the development of his drug addiction from which he eventually recovered.

"It's a shame to talk about it and I have low self-esteem," he said when asked why it took him six years to file a complaint. He noted that such things were not talked of in his community.

The rabbi's attorney, Arthur Aidala, described the complainant as a "con man" with a history of drug offences.

"There's no video, there's no eyewitness, no DNA, there's no fingerprints... That evidence doesn't exist because all these acts didn't happen," he said.

The defendant who owns a travel agency in Brooklyn is slated to be indicted for sexually abusing two other teens. If convicted, the maximum sentence he could face is seven years in prison.

UPI said...

NEW YORK, March 4 (UPI) -- A New York rabbi is accused of repeatedly sexually molesting a teenager, now 22, after luring him into a car and letting him drive, court records showed.

Baruch Lebovits, 58, of Brooklyn, allegedly abused the man during a 10-month period in 2004 and 2005, the New York Post and the New York Daily News reported Thursday.

"It's a shame to talk about it (in the Orthodox community) and I have low self-esteem," the man said, explaining why he had not filed charges until he had left the community.

Lebovits face a maximum sentence of seven years in prison if he is convicted of a second-degree criminal sexual act, the newspapers reported.

Lebovits is waiting to be tried on charges of molesting two other people, the newspapers said.

Lebovits's lawyer said the alleged victim made up the story, hoping to collect a lot of money from a lawsuit.

"You're going to be sold a bill of goods. There's a con man who's going to take the stand," defense lawyer Arthur Aidala said in a courtroom crowded with Lebovits's supporters, the newspapers reported.

New York Post said...

Rabbi on trial for 'teen sex'


Last Updated: 6:42 AM, March 4, 2010

Posted: 2:46 AM, March 4, 2010

A Brooklyn rabbi allegedly lured an unsuspecting teen into his car by letting him drive, then repeatedly sexually abused him over a 10-month period in 2004 and 2005, the young man testified yesterday.

"He opened up my zipper," the teen, now 22, told a Brooklyn Supreme Court jury.

"He took out my penis. He put his mouth on it."

A lawyer for the accused man, Baruch Lebovits, 58, told jurors the victim had concocted the story in the hopes of filing a lawsuit and collecting big.

"You're going to be sold a bill of goods," said defense lawyer Arthur Aidala.

"There's a con man who's going to take the stand."

The alleged victim told jurors he waited roughly four years before telling anyone what happened because of the taboo against discussing sexual abuse in the Hasidic community.

"In our community, we never talk about this stuff," he said.

Yeshiva World News Hypocrites said...

Not a blurb on Yeshiva World News about Lebovits.

Baruch Lebovits said...

How to have kosher sex with boys.

Pearl Kaufman from Be'er Hagolaa said...

I am against all Rabbas and Rabbis who are black.

sam said...

Gut Vuch! You are accurate about
"Yeshiva" of Brooklyn. I was there.

People know about Nussbaum and the sexual abuse coverup, but they are too scared (brainwashed) to admit this publicly.

Yakov mandel also molested kids.

a tool for greatness said...

If not for the internet... Yudi Kolko would still be molesting children while working as a Rebbe at Torah Temimah.

If not for the internet... Molesters wouldn't think twice about offending.

If not for the internet... more victims would be jumping off balconies.

If not for the internet... filthy enablers of abuse would be operating in the shadows with zero accountability.

If not for the internet... The great UOJ (Unorthodox Jew) wouldn't be synonymous with excellence, and we'd have our heritage in total shambles.

Anonymous said...

'51% believe complaints against Rabbi Elon'

Yesodot-Ynet poll shows most of public believes accusations of sexual abuse by Rabbi Mordechai Elon, 51% agree with Takana forum's handling of affair and 40% say clearer boundaries between rabbis, students needed

Published: 03.08.10, 07:54 / Israel Jewish Scene

The Takana forum claims Rabbi Mordechai Elon sexually exploited his students, but did not go into detail about the suspicions against him. The rabbi himself has said this was nothing more than a "blood libel" but did not bother to deny the allegations. Confused?

A poll commissioned by Ynet and the Yesodot Center for Torah and Democracy reveals that most of the public believes the complainants' version of events and believes that Rabbi Elon did have forbidden sexual contact with them. Most of the public also showed positive sentiments towards the body that handled the affair.

Full story:,7340,L-3858865,00.html

Rabbi Yaakov Weiss said...

too bad it's 60 days for a lifetime of traumatizing victims

Colonie rabbi sentenced to 60 days in jail

By KENNETH C. CROWE II, Staff writer
Click byline for more stories by writer.
Last updated: 1:03 p.m., Monday, March 8, 2010

ALBANY -- A Loudonville rabbi was sentenced to 60 days in the Albany County jail this morning for endangering the welfare of a child.

Rabbi Yaakov Weiss, 30, founder of the Chabad of Colonie and the Chabad Hebrew School, was handcuffed and led out by sheriff's deputies to start his sentence.

"You have utterly failed to accept responsibility for your actions," County Judge Stephen Herrick told Weiss, whose family and supporters sat in the courtroom. "You are not the victim here. The boys were the victims."

In pleading guilty to the misdemeanor in January, Weiss admitted he had "inappropriate physical contact" with two, 13-year-old naked boys in 2007 inside a small pool known as a mikveh on Whitehall Road in Albany. Weiss, a married father of three, also admitted to telling one boy not to tell the police about what happened.

"I want to apologize to everyone that's been hurt," Weiss said.

Herrick noted that Weiss was charged with four misdemeanor counts and pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child.

In addition to the 60 days in jail, Herrick sentenced Weiss to three years probation, issued two orders of protection to keep him away from the two boys and ordered him to undergo sex offender counseling even though he is not classified as a sex offender.

Assistant District Attorney Shannon Sarfoh read a victim-impact statement from the mother of one boy in which she urged the judge to sentence Weiss to the maximum of 60 days in jail.

"I toss and turn all night. I have a nagging pain in my head constantly," the mother said. "Sixty days in the scheme of things is not very long. But the 60 days might just let me have a full night's sleep and relax my jaw."

Sarfoh said the guilty plea was accepted so the victim would not have to testify.

THERE IS A GOD said...

Breaking News: Conviction in Borough Park molestation case
In Michael Orbach, News, Sexual abuse on March 8, 2010 at 5:19 pm

By Michael Orbach
March 8, 2010 / 22 Adar 5770
Special to The Jewish

A Brooklyn jury has convicted Boruch Mordechai Lebovits, a Borough Park travel agent, on eight of ten charges of sexually abusing a young boy.

“Boruch Hashem,” Thank G-d, said the father of the victim who brought the case. “Justice is served.”

Lebovits was found guilty in Kings County Criminal Court of third degree sexual misconduct in eight instances that spanned ten months in 2004. The twelve-member jury found Lebovits not guilty on two charges within that year, allegedly occurring in the months of July and August. For each individual charge Lebovits could spend between 1 and 4 years in prison, for a maximum term of 32 years.

Arthur Aidala, Lebovits’s lawyer, asked that Lebovits remain free on bond pending sentencing. Judge Patricia DiMango denied his request and Lebovits was handcuffed and led from the courtroom.

The judge explained that while crimes of a sexual nature are not usually committed by those with “traditional criminal records,” and that while Lebovits, until now, had appeared regularly in court, there was a “substantial flight risk.” An option of raising the bail was similarly denied.

“Given his family’s substantial assets,” DiMango explained, “any bail is nominal.”

The trial took a surprising turn earlier Monday when a defense witness was himself accused of being a sexual abuser.

Yissocher Berel Ashkenazi, a rebbe who once taught the plaintiff was testifying that the plaintiff was indeed launching the suit to make money from Lebovits, when Assistant District Attorney Miss Gregory asked Ashkenazi if he knew a particular boy in Brooklyn.

Yes, he said.

“Isn’t it true,” the prosecutor continued, that Ashkenazi had once touched his knee to the boy’s genitals?

Flustered, Ashkenazi denied that that was true.

Then Gregory named another boy and asked the witness if, he, “back in 1998, on multiple occasions, sexually molested him when he was 13 years old?”

Ashkenazi, the witness, is a rebbe in a chassidishe yeshiva and was once the plaintiff’s rebbe. He protested to the assistant district attorney, “I am a holy person” and said that he would swear that he had never done anything with a boy, leading the judge to remind him that he was already under oath.

Defense attorney Aidala found himself defending not only his client, Lebovits, who is accused of a criminal sexual act in the second degree, but also his own witness.

“As far as I know, it’s a myth,” Aidala said of the ADA’s courtroom bombshell. “That’s the first time I heard about it and the first time he heard about it. “

Sentencing will take place on March 29, erev Pesach. The judge apologized to the family of the victim for the inconvenient scheduling. It is the first of three cases being brought against Lebovits, who is a brother of a Chassidic rebbe.

“I feel bad for my son,” the victim’s mother said, though she explained that she was “overjoyed” by the verdict that would see her eldest son’s abuser punished for his crimes.

“I think it’s the first time in 2-and-a-half years that I have finally seen justice served. My whole entire family is going to be overjoyed…I have no clue how I’m going to handle it.”

Meir said...

I am very jubilant upon hearing today of the staggering conviction against (Rabbi) Boruch Mordechai Lebovits.

This is a victory for all of us who are avid in our quest to disintegrate the culture of indifference and ineffectiveness by certain people.

The jury saw through the facade of this creepy looking child molester who thought he could beat the system.

Give him the maximum term of 32 years. Let the other inmates teach him a lesson on what they do to child abusers in prison.

Ruvein said...

How ironic to have a witness for the defendant exposed on the witness stand as a molest artist himself. Good job by the prosecution team.

Anonymous said...

The money angle backfired on the defense. This should serve as a wake up call to Agudah and other enablers of molestation that truth will prevail.

Rabbi Shloime Mandel the putz drek fake said...

exposemolesters should stop publicizing these occurrences of sexual abusers. I need Nussbaum around to be mechanech our talmidim.

New York Daily News said...

$1M fund to fight sex abuse in Orthodox Jewish communities hasn't been used

None of the nearly $1 million set aside to tackle sex abuse in New York's ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities has been spent, even as another program set up to help scrambles for cash.

The state has earmarked $950,000 since April 2009 to fund Assemblyman Dov Hikind's plans to teach Hasidic Jews to speak up against child molestation.

But the money sits untouched as Hikind figures out the details of Shomrei Yeldainu - Hebrew for "Guardians of our Children" - the Daily News has learned.

"You have to develop something that is done correctly working with the rabbis and leaders," said Hikind (D-Brooklyn).

The $950,000 was included in the 2009 state budget for the Office of Family and Children's Services, said Matt Anderson, a budget spokesman for Gov. Paterson.

It's the first time the state has funded a sex abuse program geared toward helping a specific ethnic group.

"Apparently, the Hasidim will only go to the Hasidim for help," said Edward Borges, an FCS spokesman.

While Hikind's program waits to spend its vast funding, another is making do with much less. Project Kol Tzedek - Hebrew for "Voice of Justice" - is up and running on a relative shoestring budget.

Kol Tzedek was created in April 2009 within the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office Sex Crimes Bureau.

A $40,000 grant from Altria Group Inc., a cigarette company, pays the salary of the program's sole orthodox Jewish social worker.

Nearly 100 people have called the hotline and more than 30 ultra-Orthodox Jewish men have been arrested, including 16 who have been charged with felony crimes.

This adds to the workload of the already overburdened team of 18 prosecutors in the Brooklyn Sex Crimes unit, said Bureau Chief Rhonnie Jaus.

There's no money for more staffers.

"We work from our own budget," said Jaus. "That is all the resources we have."

Read more:

Rabbinic zoo said...

Chinese zoo blamed for death of 11 Siberian tigers

BEIJING – Eleven rare Siberian tigers kept in small cages and fed only chicken bones have died of malnutrition at a cash-strapped zoo in China's frigid northeast, state media said Friday.

A manager at the Shenyang Forest Wild Animal Zoo in Liaoning province, however, said the animals had died of disease.

Siberian tigers are one of the world's rarest species, with just 300 believed remaining in the wild.

Liu Xiaoqiang, vice chief of the Shenyang Wild Animal Protection Station, a local animal protection agency, was quoted by the China Daily as saying 11 of the zoo's tigers died of malnutrition in the last three months after subsisting on a meager diet of chicken bones.

Two others were shot dead by police in November after the hungry animals attacked a zookeeper, the report said.

The Liaoshen Evening Post, a local Shenyang newspaper, reported on its Web site that the company that owns the zoo was trying unsuccessfully to auction the zoo property, and many staffers complained they hadn't been paid in 18 months.

Wu Xi, one of the managers of the Shenyang Forest Wild Animal Zoo Co. Ltd., told The Associated Press that "various kinds of diseases" had killed 11 tigers at the zoo over the past three months.

Wu said the animals were kept in iron crates indoors because it was an unusually cold winter and the zoo had no heating. He refused to specify what diseases the animals had or respond to allegations they starved to death.

The China Daily said the zoo was mainly privately owned, though the Shenyang municipal government holds a 15 percent stake.

Xie Yan, China director for the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society, said many Chinese zoos and wildlife parks have more tigers than they can afford to keep. The animals are expensive to take care of because they require a lot of food and space to roam, and ticket sales generally aren't enough to support them.

Xie said Chinese zoos began breeding tigers in the 1980s and captive populations increased rapidly in the 1990s. There are now about 6,000 captive tigers of various species in China, she said, but it's not clear how many of those are Siberian tigers.

"In the past two or three years, people have started to realize it's become a problem," she said, referring to zoos that have more animals than they can afford to keep. Xie said the government should do more to regulate zoos and enforce standards for animal care. She also said birth control is needed to keep the captive tiger population at manageable levels.

Chris Chaplin, a spokesman for WWF International's Beijing office, said the news was "a massive blow" to conservation efforts. WWF colleagues in Changchun, the capital of Jillin province, which neighbors Liaoning, had just began investigating the allegations, he said.


shlomo mandel of yob: resign now! said...

Could we push to get this menuvel out of chinuch please. He has grossly affected dozens of innocent souls by covering up physical and sexual child-abuse. He still employs Nussbaum at yob and refers kids to him. This is a man with no shame, not surprisingly.

exposemolesters said...


Kindly forward any new information relevant to Yeshiva of Brooklyn---;;;---



Aron Twerski said...

Jewish cabbies make an honorable living.

David Greenfield said...

Is he the right choice for city council? Read this article for some pondering.

Anonymous said...

David Greenfield paid for that ad.

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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!!!!!!!