As Kellner Case Collapses, Abuse Advocates Mobilize

July 14, 2013 Comments Off on As Kellner Case Collapses, Abuse Advocates Mobilize

As Kellner Case Collapses, Abuse Advocates Mobilize

New demands that ‘unfounded charges’ against abuse whistleblower be dropped.  07/10/13 Hella Winston

With the Brooklyn district attorney’s case against chasidic sex abuse whistleblower Sam Kellner seemingly falling apart amid mounting evidence that Kellner’s main accuser may have been manipulated and paid to lodge false charges against him, sexual abuse survivors and advocates are taking to the streets to protest the DA’s conduct in the case.

Abuse survivor, advocate and writer Chaim Levin has organized a protest for Thursday outside the Jay Street offices of Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes to support Kellner and, according to Levin’s Facebook post about the protest, “demand that the unfounded charges against [Kellner] be dropped immediately.”

In an interview with The Jewish Week on Tuesday, Levin said that Kellner — who reported his son’s allegations against Baruch Lebovits to police and helped bring forward more alleged Lebovits victims to the DA — is “paying a really big price for what he did and we need to stand up for him.”

“He did more than my parents did,” Levin continued. “He reported a crime. He lost his job, his housing, for a case where they have nothing on him. And we still don’t have any idea about what is happening with Lebovits.” (Lebovits, a cantor and prominent member of the Munkacs chasidic community, was convicted in 2010 and sentenced to 10 to 32 years in jail; his conviction was overturned on a technicality and no new trial date has been set.)….
http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new-york-news/kellner-case-collapses-abuse-advocates-mobilize

Survivorship May 2012 conference is almost here, For Ultra-Orthodox in Abuse Cases, Prosecutor Has Different Rules

May 12, 2012 Comments Off on Survivorship May 2012 conference is almost here, For Ultra-Orthodox in Abuse Cases, Prosecutor Has Different Rules

fwd with permission

The Survivorship 2012 conference is almost here. This is going to be a wonderful opportunity for everyone to network with each other, share stories, give each other hope, and learn some new ways of working with our histories. Please note that the conference prices are going up in a week, so now would be a great time to get your application and then sign up for the conference.

A reminder to the professionals, that all the workshops for professionals are available for CEU credits.

Here is the link so you can look over all the information yourself: http://www.survivorship.org/2012conference.html

After May 10th the conference rates will go up by $5 p/d and at the conference anyone who has not preregistered will be charged an extra $10 p/d. Also after May 14th there will be no lunch included, but the rates will be the same.

Also, the concert Saturday night called “An Evening of Healing” is really going to be a spectacular event. Advance tickets are only $20 and the tickets at the door are $25.

For Ultra-Orthodox in Abuse Cases, Prosecutor Has Different Rules
By RAY RIVERA and SHARON OTTERMAN
Published: May 10, 2012

An influential rabbi came last summer to the Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, with a message: his ultra-Orthodox advocacy group was instructing adherent Jews that they could report allegations of child sexual abuse to district attorneys or the police only if a rabbi first determined that the suspicions were credible.

The pronouncement was a blunt challenge to Mr. Hynes’s authority. But the district attorney “expressed no opposition or objection,” the rabbi, Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, recalled.

In fact, when Mr. Hynes held a Hanukkah party at his office in December, he invited many ultra-Orthodox rabbis affiliated with the advocacy group, Agudath Israel of America. He even chose Rabbi Zwiebel, the group’s executive vice president, as keynote speaker at the party.

Mr. Hynes has won election six times as district attorney thanks in part to support from ultra-Orthodox rabbis, who lead growing communities in neighborhoods like Borough Park and Crown Heights. But in recent years, as allegations of child sexual abuse have shaken the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, victims’ rights groups have expressed concern that he is not vigorously pursuing these cases because of his deep ties to the rabbis.

Many of the rabbis consider sexual abuse accusations to be community matters best handled by rabbinical authorities, who often do not report their conclusions to the police.

In 2009, as criticism of his record mounted, Mr. Hynes set up a program to reach out to ultra-Orthodox victims of child sexual abuse. Called Kol Tzedek (Voice of Justice in Hebrew), the program is intended to “ensure safety in the community and to fully support those affected by abuse,” his office said.

In recent months, Mr. Hynes and his aides have said the program has contributed to an effective crackdown on child sexual abuse among ultra-Orthodox Jews, saying it had led to 95 arrests involving more than 120 victims.

But Mr. Hynes has taken the highly unusual step of declining to publicize the names of defendants prosecuted under the program — even those convicted. At the same time, he continues to publicize allegations of child sexual abuse against defendants who are not ultra-Orthodox Jews….

Through an extensive search of court and other public records, The Times determined the names of suspects and other details in 47 of the 95 cases attributed to the Kol Tzedek program. More than half of the 47 seemed to have little to do with the program, according to the court records and interviews.  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/11/nyregion/for-ultra-orthodox-in-child-sex-abuse-cases-prosecutor-has-different-rules.html

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