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New York - DA Hynes Pens Op-Ed In NY Daily News Says He Works To Protect All Brooklyn Kids

Published on: May 16, 2012 08:48 AM
By: Brooklyn DA Hynes For The  NY Daily News
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New York - A person with knowledge of a crime should report that information to law enforcement authorities. There is no alternative. It is a civic duty, and in some cases, it’s the law.

In 2009, concerned that sex abuse was going unreported in the Orthodox Jewish community, I started Kol Tzedek (Voice of Justice), a program to address this problem.

From when I took office as district attorney in 1990 until the creation of Kol Tzedek, my prosecutors handled only a few cases a year of sex abuse in that community. Since the inception of Kol Tzedek, we have made 95 arrests; 53 cases have been adjudicated, with a conviction rate of 72%.

I stand by these numbers.

The statistics show how absurd it is to suggest that we cover up, downplay or in any way “give a break” to sex offenders in the Orthodox Jewish community. Like any other defendants, they are often arrested in public by the police, and their court appearances are open and available to the public as part of the public record. I welcome scrutiny of these cases.

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The suggestion that I have ever condoned the practice of first seeking a rabbi’s advice before an Orthodox Jewish community member reports sexual abuse is a distortion of my record. I have never suggested that someone seeking the advice of a rabbi is then relieved of the obligation of reporting sexual abuse to the appropriate authorities.

Although I would not interfere with anyone’s decision to speak to their religious leader, I also expect allegations of criminal conduct to be reported to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. My concern that some rabbis might advise those with knowledge of sexual abuse to withhold information from law enforcement is another reason why, with the assistance of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, Ohel and the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, I created Kol Tzedek in the first place.

The Orthodox Jewish community, including Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive director of Agudath Israel, understands that if anyone attempts to obstruct a criminal inquiry about sexual abuse in the community, I will not hesitate to prosecute.

The media have requested that my office release a list of all the Orthodox Jewish defendants that Kol Tzedek has generated. My position is that releasing the names of Orthodox Jewish defendants charged with sexual abuse would inevitably reveal the identity of the victims. This is an insular, tight-knit community; in the majority of sexual abuse cases, the predator knows the victim. Often, the predator is a family member, a religious leader or a worker in the victim’s school.

New York law prohibits the direct disclosure of the names of victims of sexual assault or any information that tends to identify them.

I am also opposed to releasing a list of names of defendants based upon their particular ethnic, racial or religious affiliation. It is not the policy of this office to keep a list of defendants categorized in this manner.

Kol Tzedek was formed in response to the fact that victims of sexual assault within the Orthodox Jewish community were afraid to come forward.

They and their families often were, and still are shunned, intimidated and humiliated by their friends, neighbors, strangers — and even their synagogues and loved ones — pressuring them to drop the charges.

Without the program we have instituted, it would be virtually impossible to get victims to cooperate for the duration of the case. Without the ongoing cooperation of the victim, the viability of the case is destroyed and our ability to get sex offenders off the streets is virtually impossible.

Hynes is Brooklyn district attorney.


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Read Comments (17)  —  Post Yours »

1

 May 16, 2012 at 09:05 AM Lawyer Says:

He's wrong. He writes: "NY law prohibits the direct disclosure of the names of victims of sexual assault or any information that tends to identify them." The law says nothing about keeping the name of a criminal defendant confidential:

Civil Rights Law § 50-b. Right of privacy; victims of sex offenses or offenses
involving the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus.
1. The identity of any victim of a sex offense, as defined in article one
hundred thirty or section 255.25, 255.26 or 255.27 of the penal law, or
of an offense involving the alleged transmission of the human
immunodeficiency virus, shall be confidential. No report, paper,
picture, photograph, court file or other documents, in the custody or
possession of any public officer or employee, which identifies such a
victim shall be made available for public inspection. No such public
officer or employee shall disclose any portion of any police report,
court file, or other document, which tends to identify such a victim
except as provided in subdivision two of this section."

2

 May 16, 2012 at 09:09 AM Anonymous Says:

Good job Hynes!!! Keep on going!!!

3

 May 16, 2012 at 09:30 AM Anonymous Says:

He has a point but he left out one simple detail. When a person is convicted of a sexual crime he goes on the registry so everybody in the community knows to protect their children from these animals. Hynes protects the prepetrators not the victims or his future victims.

4

 May 16, 2012 at 09:47 AM Anonymous Says:

#1 and #3:

You may disagree with Hynes, but he was absolutely clear about how this is to protect the victim. Citing the law has not a thing to do with his position. If publicizing the perpetrator was mandated by lawe, he might have trouble, but that publicity is not a requirement. All proceedings, as he noted, are accessible to the public. The "heilige" media, including the NYT and the JW, both anti-semitic and anti-Torah schmattes, can easily find the names and shmear them everywhere, which they do often. Meanwhile, you and your ilk are only seeking to make greater public displays, serving no benefit, and potentially harming the innocednt victims again. Sorry, but that is disgraceful. I am not protecting molesters, and wish them to be confined for life away from society. But the fanatics, claiming to be advocates for children, are only looking to discredit the frum establishment. If you are so enamored with seeing the names of those convicted, then bookmark the page of the offender registry and check it often.

5

 May 16, 2012 at 10:17 AM Insider Says:

For the most part, DA Hynes is doing a pretty good job. However, when it comes to child sexual abuse within the orthodox Jewish community, what a bunch of huey. Be careful, don't step in it. Where's the list of registered child abusers in the orthodox neighborhood? I can't seem to find it. It seems that DA Hynes is sitting on them, protecting them, and nuturing them, just like a mother bird.

6

 May 16, 2012 at 11:27 AM TheRealJoe123 Says:

He's a flat out liar, if he was worried about the victims, then at least when someone is convicted he should release the name and sentence. In at least one case that I know of, he deleted the name from the public online search system, even though in that case the victim went public, so there wasn't the worry of protecting his name. I hope that a new movement starts to have a serious candidate run against this shame of a public official.

7

 May 16, 2012 at 11:59 AM Anonymous Says:

the real abusers must be stopped by all means - it is definitely not mesirah to report an actual abuser, but what about when the system is abused by wicked people like those who framed Rabbi Weingarten? Since there is so little of the actual abuse that gets out, it makes it easier for wicked people like Lefkowitz from NK and they sheygetz Witriol (who bribed the judge) to frame innocent people they don't like for political reasons (especially after Rabbi Weingarten started to speak out publicly against Moshe Ber Beck).

8

 May 16, 2012 at 12:01 PM shredready Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

#1 and #3:

You may disagree with Hynes, but he was absolutely clear about how this is to protect the victim. Citing the law has not a thing to do with his position. If publicizing the perpetrator was mandated by lawe, he might have trouble, but that publicity is not a requirement. All proceedings, as he noted, are accessible to the public. The "heilige" media, including the NYT and the JW, both anti-semitic and anti-Torah schmattes, can easily find the names and shmear them everywhere, which they do often. Meanwhile, you and your ilk are only seeking to make greater public displays, serving no benefit, and potentially harming the innocednt victims again. Sorry, but that is disgraceful. I am not protecting molesters, and wish them to be confined for life away from society. But the fanatics, claiming to be advocates for children, are only looking to discredit the frum establishment. If you are so enamored with seeing the names of those convicted, then bookmark the page of the offender registry and check it often.

why not name them after conviction

9

 May 16, 2012 at 12:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Insider Says:

For the most part, DA Hynes is doing a pretty good job. However, when it comes to child sexual abuse within the orthodox Jewish community, what a bunch of huey. Be careful, don't step in it. Where's the list of registered child abusers in the orthodox neighborhood? I can't seem to find it. It seems that DA Hynes is sitting on them, protecting them, and nuturing them, just like a mother bird.

You have a closed mind, and it is not doing you much good. There is NO list of orthodox offenders. Those who are registered (Hynes has zero control over that - it is automatic that convictions of certain classes of offenses get listed) are on the list, available to anyone who looks them up. No one is protecting anyone. You may disagree, but he is doing what the state pays him to do. Run against him in the next election, and let's see if you can unseat him.

10

 May 16, 2012 at 01:20 PM Social worker Says:

The of reporting is to protect the community and victims from offenders. However, if victims refuse to comply with authorities and the criminal stays on the street then how can the DA office prosecute anyone. Thus, Mr. Haynes did the right thing when opening Kol Tzedek. The more cases that get reported (even if the offender ends up with a lighter sentence) the more we are protected.

11

 May 16, 2012 at 01:29 PM UriLevi Says:

DA Hynes is ultimately a politician and that's OK. The bottom line is this: From:Nachum Klafter, MD of Cincinnati "The issue is a widespread inability to accept the reality that sexual abuse & molestation exist in our communities and that perpetrators wear kippot srugot, black velvet kippot, yeshivish black hats,&shtreimlach;. Our inability to think clearly about this topic is driven by several factors: 1) Misconceptions about mesirah (the prohibition against turning Jews over legal authorities while living in nations ruled by repressive, anti-Semitic despots 2).An hysterical aversion to talking about anything sexual in a public forum. 3)The defenses of of denial and repression, which appear to be universal among human beings when faced with evidence of incest or sexual abuse of children.4)A misplaced fear of chillul HaShem. 5)A lack of understanding of the fact that sexual predators exist in all societies.6) The tendency in many of our communities to refer issues to rabbis about which they have no expertise or professional knowledge 7) Fear of lawsuits in our litigious society (also misplaced because failing to report is a liability)& 8) lack of professionalism in our Yeshivos

12

 May 16, 2012 at 01:32 PM Shlishkes Says:

Reply to #5  
Insider Says:

For the most part, DA Hynes is doing a pretty good job. However, when it comes to child sexual abuse within the orthodox Jewish community, what a bunch of huey. Be careful, don't step in it. Where's the list of registered child abusers in the orthodox neighborhood? I can't seem to find it. It seems that DA Hynes is sitting on them, protecting them, and nuturing them, just like a mother bird.

There is a national sex registry that is run by the US justice dept. There are several Frum people from BP on it, though kolko is not on it because he was not convicted of a felony.

13

 May 16, 2012 at 02:12 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

#1 and #3:

You may disagree with Hynes, but he was absolutely clear about how this is to protect the victim. Citing the law has not a thing to do with his position. If publicizing the perpetrator was mandated by lawe, he might have trouble, but that publicity is not a requirement. All proceedings, as he noted, are accessible to the public. The "heilige" media, including the NYT and the JW, both anti-semitic and anti-Torah schmattes, can easily find the names and shmear them everywhere, which they do often. Meanwhile, you and your ilk are only seeking to make greater public displays, serving no benefit, and potentially harming the innocednt victims again. Sorry, but that is disgraceful. I am not protecting molesters, and wish them to be confined for life away from society. But the fanatics, claiming to be advocates for children, are only looking to discredit the frum establishment. If you are so enamored with seeing the names of those convicted, then bookmark the page of the offender registry and check it often.

That sentence of yours needs to be repeated over and over: "the fanatics, claiming to be advocates for children, are only looking to discredit the fm establishment." you couldn't be more right! I know of one individual in particular who blogs night, day 24/7 pretending he's chasing molesters but really he doesn't care a fig about the victims and the truth came out that he was a victim of abuse himself and doesn't know any other way to work out his own difficult stresses from the trauma of his abuse so instead he lives his whole life taking it out on yiddishkeit, frumme hidden and especially gedoilim. When you can see right thru the hatred of yiddishkeit and gedoilim that they espouse you must see that this is not really that they're just going after a good cause that they want to help molestation-victims , no they really are just very damaged mentally sick traumatized themselves and they think they can take it out on yiddishkeit and make themselves feel better.

14

 May 16, 2012 at 02:59 PM enlightened-yid Says:

Hynes is playing lawyer with language to mislead the public. Obviously KNOWLEDGE of sexual abuse MUST be reported to authorities. But MAJORITY of child sexual abuse cases start with SUSPICION and not with hard evidence! Hynes' agreement with Agudah the pedophile protection lobby is about screening SUSPICIONS not "sexual abuse." This allows rabbis complete control of majority of sexual abuse cases and he allows them to decide what suspicions are worthy to report for investigation. (That's like allowing a fox to protect chicken.)
He is lying about Kol Tzedek accomplishments. More than half or cases did not come through Kol Tzedek; media reports show that Kol Tzedek is a joke; not only they don't answer phones but also don't provide much help to victims.
Hynes has not charged a single Frum person for witness intimidation when the world knows by now that witness intimidation is #1 tactic used by rabbis. This shows that Hynes doesn't care about frum victims of sexual abuses. He and Agudah need to be investigated by the state and the feds because they smell of corruption.

15

 May 16, 2012 at 03:05 PM Anonymous Says:

This doddering fool and his Judenrat assistants need to retire.

16

 May 16, 2012 at 03:38 PM a victim Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

That sentence of yours needs to be repeated over and over: "the fanatics, claiming to be advocates for children, are only looking to discredit the fm establishment." you couldn't be more right! I know of one individual in particular who blogs night, day 24/7 pretending he's chasing molesters but really he doesn't care a fig about the victims and the truth came out that he was a victim of abuse himself and doesn't know any other way to work out his own difficult stresses from the trauma of his abuse so instead he lives his whole life taking it out on yiddishkeit, frumme hidden and especially gedoilim. When you can see right thru the hatred of yiddishkeit and gedoilim that they espouse you must see that this is not really that they're just going after a good cause that they want to help molestation-victims , no they really are just very damaged mentally sick traumatized themselves and they think they can take it out on yiddishkeit and make themselves feel better.

Reply to 4 & 13.
I know you mean well and are truly sticking up for kovod shamaiyim. However it is people like you that has alloud this problem to go on for way too long.

Stop blaming the NYT, the victims etc. And relize the chillul hashem is coming from our community by allowing these horrible things to happen and coveriing them up. Stop that from happening and there will be no more chillul hashem!

17

 May 16, 2012 at 04:42 PM Primitiver Yid Says:

Reply to #14  
enlightened-yid Says:

Hynes is playing lawyer with language to mislead the public. Obviously KNOWLEDGE of sexual abuse MUST be reported to authorities. But MAJORITY of child sexual abuse cases start with SUSPICION and not with hard evidence! Hynes' agreement with Agudah the pedophile protection lobby is about screening SUSPICIONS not "sexual abuse." This allows rabbis complete control of majority of sexual abuse cases and he allows them to decide what suspicions are worthy to report for investigation. (That's like allowing a fox to protect chicken.)
He is lying about Kol Tzedek accomplishments. More than half or cases did not come through Kol Tzedek; media reports show that Kol Tzedek is a joke; not only they don't answer phones but also don't provide much help to victims.
Hynes has not charged a single Frum person for witness intimidation when the world knows by now that witness intimidation is #1 tactic used by rabbis. This shows that Hynes doesn't care about frum victims of sexual abuses. He and Agudah need to be investigated by the state and the feds because they smell of corruption.

It's very nice of you, Enlightened, to still care about our primitive kids, can you do us a favor though, and take care of the Enlightened children first.

18

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