Borough Park, NY - Chareidi Girl Molested On Way To School; Hikind: Kudos To Family For Reporting It to Law Enforcement; Hynes Speaks Out
Borough Park, NY - Last week, in the shadow of the Mumbai massacre, a significant battle in the ongoing war against sexual abuse in the Orthodox community was begun.
A Chasidic resident of Borough Park, beard, conservative clothes and all, lured early morning a Chasidic girl on her way to school into his home off the street in broad daylight under the pretext of needing some assistance. He then proceeded to force and molest his victim, who is under the age of 13.
According to State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who has championed the cause of abuse victims in recent months, the family first reported the incident to his office. They then contacted four community rabbonim to ask whether they were halachically permitted to report the perpetrator to the authorities. Three rabbonim allegedly said they didn’t want to get involved. The fourth, in contrast, permitted them, and apparently strongly urged them to proceed.
The family then reported the incident to the offices of Kings County DA Charles Hynes, which shortly ordered the arrest of the perpetrator. The perpetrator has been Arrested and charged with Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and is awaiting trial.
VIN News praises the “heimishe” family, as Assemblyman Hikind describes them, for coming forward. VIN News also gives high marks to the courageous, forward-thinking rabbi who allowed the incident’s reportage to the authorities. Praises goes out once again to the courage of Assemblyman Hikind for publicizing the issue. And a special recognition needs to go out to Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz Menhal Of Yehsiva Darchai Noam In Monsey, NY who has been speaking out publicly on this subject for many years.
[Editors Note: For those who question why VosizNeias posts columns on the matter of abuse; our response is that discussing problems is the first step in solving them. In fact, Rabbi Yakov Horowitz addresses this very question in his column Why I Write Columns on Abuse which appears in this week’s issue of The Jewish Press. His words speak for themselves—and for the editors of VosizNeias]
VIN News reminds its readers that this incident was perpetrated in the heart of Borough Park, in daylight hours, by a presentable, average-looking Chosid and community member—in contrast to the abuser stereotype of a sinister-looking stranger from the street.
Investigators believe there are more victims of the same perpetrator. VIN News joins investigators’ call for victims and their families to come forward. Abuse crimes may be reported to the offices of Assemblyman Hikind or DA Hynes.
In related news, DA Hynes denied charges by a victim’s father that Orthodox community leaders pressured him into lightening charges against his child’s abuser. In a TV report last night by New York’s PIX 11, Hynes argued that he was working hard to prosecute abusers. “There is a suspicion that the orthodox community will hide its sins,” he told an interviewer. “I have not found that to be true. They know that I am very, very aggressive on this stuff.”
However, in an anonymous interview in the same report, the victim’s father insisted that Hynes had been pressured into lessening charges against the accused perpetrator. “I was actually forced to agree to that,” he said. “The rabbis in the Jewish community tell the District Attorney, ‘Back off.’ “
Countered Hynes: “I have two signed statements from parents—they don’t want to put their kids through the torture of a trial.” The report added that Hynes is pushing for a change in extradition laws with Israel to allow old flights from justice to be returned to American courts for trial.
Perhaps most significantly, the report mentioned that Hynes “would like to sign a memo of understanding” with Orthodox community leaders that they would turn over allegations of abuse to his office instead of trying to handle them within the community—similar to the 2002 agreement with the Catholic Church in the wake of its abusive-priests scandal. VIN is unsure yet cautiously optimistic about this latter development.
See below WPIX TV Report
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