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1 researchok  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 5:09:55am

It is not acceptable.

Throw the book at them.

2 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 5:22:55am

I don’t get one thing - if the community is so tight-knit, then it’s pretty inevitable that the victims will be known when those 80+ go to the prison. Another thing is that sex offenders’ identities should pretty much be public by law and available online, no?

3 Decatur Deb  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 5:31:32am

There might be something in the terms of the ongoing “special” program that makes the prosecutors see it as a half-a-loaf situation. I don’t see Munch and Greene going undercover there.

4 CuriousLurker  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 5:37:23am

re: #2 Standard, Yet Pretty

I don’t get one thing - if the community is so tight-knit, then it’s pretty inevitable that the victims will be known when those 80+ go to the prison.

Exactly. If tight-knit Orthodox Jewish communities are anything like tight-knit Muslim communities (or Greek communities, or Ukranian, or Italian, or West African, or…), then the minute someone gets arrested, everyone knows what’s going on

Another thing is that sex offenders’ identities should pretty much be public by law and available online, no?

Well, that’s what I thought, but it seems even the guilty are being given a special exemption. WTF?

5 CuriousLurker  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 5:41:36am

re: #3 Decatur Deb

There might be something in the terms of the ongoing “special” program that makes the prosecutors see it as a half-a-loaf situation. I don’t see Munch and Greene going undercover there.

The same could be said for other ethnic/religious groups. And that still doesn’t explain why they’re protecting the identities of those who were convicted.

6 Decatur Deb  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 5:43:37am

re: #5 CuriousLurker

The same could be said for other ethnic/religious groups. And that still doesn’t explain why they’re protecting the identities of those who were convicted.

Dunno. Best guesses are that they still think they will land more abusers or that life will be hell for the tattle-tale victims. Or that the prosecutors are idiots.

7 researchok  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 8:13:35am

There are two problems here:

That every community wants to protect it’s own is not news. The bigger issue is why they want protect the problems in their midst. When group identity trumps morality, there is a problem within the group.

Recall Whitey Bulger in Boston, who was shielded from prosecution by Irish FBI agents and others later on. This guy was responsible for dozens of murders.

There was the tragic events in the banlieus of Paris, where Ilan Halimi was killed by self described ‘barbarians’. He was tortured for weeks- and no one said a word.

The same applies to women and girls in in many immigrant communities. They can and are subject to harassment and worse- and no one speaks up until after the fact.

The other problem is the authorities who respond to these kinds of pressures. The DA had no business even entertaining the idea of shielding the perpetrators in NY any more than the authorities had in refusing to protect a young girl in Canada who came to them for help and refused, for fear of ‘inciting’ the local religious authorities.

Here’s the deal: In protecting the community at large, Rabbis, Imams, Wiccan Priests and Priestesses ought not have any influence in prosecuting crime.

Period.

They can cry ‘persecution’ all they want but that isn’t worth the lives affected, maimed and ruined by the criminals in their midst.

And that is a lesson that must be learned by all.

There is a reason Lady Justice is blind.

8 Vicious Babushka  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 9:03:11am

As a member of said community, it is TOTALLY NOT OK for any abusers to be protected. That said, I do not regard the “Forward” as an objective source of information about the Hasidic community in spite of having the word “Jewish” in their name, anymore than “BareNakedIslam” is a go-to source for information about Muslims.

9 CuriousLurker  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 9:06:53am

re: #7 researchok

I didn’t get the impression that they were being shielded from prosecution, but rather shielded from their identities being exposed, which is still not okay AFAIC. Equal treatment.

10 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 9:08:16am

re: #9 CuriousLurker

The reason being given appears to be to protect the identity of the victims. As you’ve made the point, it seems utterly futile to do so, because those in the tight-knit community will know anyway. And this seems very, very inconsistently applied.

Protecting the identity of victims is a good aim but often impossible.

11 CuriousLurker  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 9:10:20am

re: #8 Learned Mother of Zion

“Bare Naked Islam” is a straight out hate site, so I don’t see how it’s comparable to the “Forward”, however in the future I’ll keep in mind that it’s not likely to be objective source. In this case, the facts should be easy enough to verify.

12 Mostly sane, most of the time.  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 9:30:04am

Like everyone, I would hate to see more pain come in to the lives of the victims, but after thinking about it, the names of the perpetrators must be known. They need to be known to be dangerous. If they are proven innocent, that can be publicized as well.

13 Mostly sane, most of the time.  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 9:32:15am

This is why the 5 Browns (well, three of them) went public and endured the embarrassment of admitting what had happened to them. They knew that their success and fame would find their father more young students, and they couldn’t allow what had happened to them to happen to any other girls.

14 CuriousLurker  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 9:39:24am

Additional source: Brandeis University, The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism

Public Secrecy About Child Sexual Abuse

Attorney and author Michael Lesher made oral arguments on February 14 before New York State’s Court of Appeals in his longstanding Freedom of Information (FOIL) lawsuit against Brooklyn District New York State Court of Appeals, Attorney Charles Hynes. If Lesher prevails, the district attorney may be forced to provide some much needed transparency regarding cases of child sexual abuse in fervently Orthodox (sometimes referred to in media reports as the “Haredi” or “ultra-Orthodox”) communities.

Hella Winston, a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, wrote about what’s at stake in the February 14 hearing, and how the Court decided the case on April 3.

Freedom of Information—On Trial

The Court’s decision in this case will have a significant impact on the public’s access to information about what the government is doing in citizens’ names.

Three significant issues will be affected by this ruling:

1.) The public’s ability to learn details about the Brooklyn district attorney’s decision-making process and actions (and possibly those of other agencies and organizations) in a high profile case involving allegations of child sexual abuse.

2.) Journalists’ capacity to do public accountability reporting about cases involving victims of sexual abuse in New York.

3.) The openness and effectiveness of New York’s Freedom of Information law.

[…]

Read the entire article…

15 Vicious Babushka  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 10:01:48am

re: #11 CuriousLurker

“Bare Naked Islam” is a straight out hate site, so I don’t see how it’s comparable to the “Forward”, however in the future I’ll keep in mind that it’s not likely to be objective source. In this case, the facts should be easy enough to verify.

OK, that was wrong. Maybe I should have said “Fox News” as a reliable source of information about Islam. I don’t think “The Forward” is a reliable source of information of anything except maybe Roseanne Barr.

16 CuriousLurker  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 10:08:05am

re: #15 Learned Mother of Zion

OK, that was wrong. Maybe I should have said “Fox News” as a reliable source of information about Islam. I don’t think “The Forward” is a reliable source of information of anything except maybe Roseanne Barr.

Heh, duly noted.

In any event, I’m glad I was able to find an alternate, more respectable source. Well, maybe not exactly glad as I’d prefer that neither the abuse nor the secrecy was occurring in any community anywhere, but you know what I mean.

17 researchok  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 10:51:14am

re: #9 CuriousLurker

I’m sorry I wasn’t clear.

I did mean they were being shielded from identification.

If religious communities and leaders want to be accorded a certain status and gravitas, they need to earn that status.

They must hold their communities equally accountable and responsible for any dysfunction within.

Religious communities and leaders who routinely castigate others ought to clean their own houses first. If they don’t they need to be called out on that hypocrisy.

18 researchok  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 10:58:42am

Brooklyn DA, In Shift, Opens Window On Abusers’ Names

While Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes has repeatedly refused to divulge names of Orthodox child molesters charged or prosecuted though his office’s confidential Kol Tzedek hotline, a spokesman for the DA this week told The Jewish Week that, if presented with a name obtained through other means, his office would confirm whether the individual was reported through Kol Tzedek.
Kol Tzedek was launched by the DA in April 2009 to encourage the reporting of sex crimes within the Orthodox community. Hynes’ office claims to have arrested approximately 90 Orthodox child molesters through Kol Tzedek.
Hynes has for months asserted he cannot reveal these names because doing so would violate victims’ privacy rights. However, according to spokesman Jerry Schmetterer, the DA is making a distinction between being the source of those names and confirming them — a distinction some believe is without a difference.
“In a practical sense, it’s an absurd position for him to take,” said Ros Dann, a spokesperson for the advocacy group Survivors for Justice. “DA Hynes is either concerned that naming Orthodox child molesters will identify the victims or not. He shouldn’t be allowed to have it both ways.”

However, Schmetterer maintains that “the law prohibits us from releasing names if doing so might expose a victim.”
“Names of people arrested are public record and available through other sources. If you have a name, I can confirm it,” Schmetterer added, offering this option to The Jewish Week for the first time.

Read it all.

19 CuriousLurker  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 11:02:49am
20 researchok  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 11:04:31am

re: #19 CuriousLurker

I exist solely to placate and irritate you.

Preferably at the same time.
//

21 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 11:05:19am

re: #20 researchok

I exist solely to placate and irritate you.

Preferably at the same time.
//

And me, comrade! /

22 researchok  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 11:06:33am

re: #21 Standard, Yet Pretty

And you…especially you.
//

I hope all is well, tovarisch

23 CuriousLurker  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 11:06:44am

re: #20 researchok

I exist solely to placate and irritate you.

Preferably at the same time.
//

And you do both very well! // ;)

24 researchok  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 11:07:31am

re: #23 CuriousLurker

I shall take that as a compliment.

25 CuriousLurker  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 11:57:16am

re: #24 researchok

I shall take that as a compliment.

But of course. At least I don’t get bored.

This whole thing about keeping secrets in tight-knit communities reminded me of a story from back in my taxi driving days (I’ll use fake names):

This one Arab driver was pleading with his American Muslim wife on the phone—he was clearly in trouble and trying to worm his way out of it. Upon placating her as best he could, he walks over the the cab line where all the taxis are parked and starts shouting & gesturing at a friend of his, “Marwan! MARWAAAN!! Ta’al! (Come here!) %$#@!#*!”

He’s pacing back & forth, muttering & cursing under his breath. The rest of us are sitting around *blinking*, wondering WTF?

“What’s wrong?” someone finally asks.

“What’s wrong? What’s WRONG?? I’ll tell you what’s wrong!”, he says. “I told Marwan something about an hour ago, and I specifically told him not to tell anyone. He swore he wouldn’t. So what happens? He tells his wife! As soon as they hang up, his wife calls my wife and tells her everything! WTF? He knows they’re friends, but he thinks his wife’s not gonna call mine and tell her? So my wife knows before I even get home, and now she’s calling me all pissed off! I am SO screwed, *&^%$#!

Right about then poor Marwan shows up, and based on the look on his face he has a pretty good idea what happened. His arrival, of course, was followed by a lavish display of bi-lingual melodramatic shouting, arm-waving, and moaning about the dire consequences one faces when one’s wife is pissed off. Marwan, sheepish & red-faced, could do little but apologize profusely and promise never to make the same mistake again. It was a hoot for those of us not directly affected.

So nobody in this tight-knit Haredi community is gonna know? Puhleeze. //

26 lawhawk  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 12:03:20pm

For the DA, it’s a balancing act between releasing information and protecting the rights of the victims. In a small community, releasing information about the defendants would inevitably lead back to the victims, so it’s understandable that the DA would want to minimize the damage and potential blowback from the defendants’ relatives.

However, I think the need to identify those defendants involved outweighs the need to protect the victims from allegedly being identified by others in the community. By going along with the scheme as the DA has done, he’s allowing the community to dictate how sex crimes should be treated, rather than treating these sex crimes the way others are done in general.

One standard should apply.

Fact is that if the community is as insular and close-knit as alleged, then everyone would know about the arrests - and therefore who the accusers would be even without the additional actions by the DA’s office. The policy really doesn’t pass the smell test.

27 Vicious Babushka  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 1:07:57pm

re: #18 researchok

Brooklyn DA, In Shift, Opens Window On Abusers’ Names

Read it all.

The Jewish Week is a good source.

28 researchok  Wed, Apr 25, 2012 1:37:55pm

re: #25 CuriousLurker

I heard the Arab driver and his friend Marwan are now living in Borough Park.

//

29 Bob Levin  Thu, Apr 26, 2012 12:15:34am

re: #26 lawhawk

This might seem simple, but how important to the greater understanding is knowing what the law says? It may be written to place a heavy burden on the DA’s office to protect the identity of the victims. Even though others will certainly find out, they would have to find out through other means than the DA’s office. That might explain the facts.

As to the morality, I think everyone’s covered that pretty well.


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