Corrupt Brooklyn D.A.
In New York State, all district attorneys are elected. They are dependent on the voters in their districts to win elections and keep their jobs. Brooklyn has high concentrations of Orthodox Jews who typically vote as a bloc for whomever their rabbi tells them to vote. Tens of thousands of votes can move from one candidate to another just on one rabbi’s endorsement.
Orthodox victim advocates have long accused the Brooklyn D.A. of pandering for Orthodox votes by failing to vigorously prosecute Orthodox child sex offenders at the request of Orthodox rabbis. The accusation is that Orthodox rabbis want to avoid the embarrassing revelation that they preside over communities riddled with child sex predators and they use the D.A. to conceal that humiliating information.
Cover ups and protecting Orthodox molesters
For many years, the Brooklyn D.A has outrageously refused to publicly identify convicted Orthodox child sex predators, endangering Jewish children everywhere. Frequently, the D.A. seals these cases so that even if the molester is convicted, that information will never be released to the public. Under intense pressure from the media and victim’s advocates in 2012, the D.A. reluctantly released a list of 46 individuals that it claimed were Orthodox men that it had convicted for child sex crimes. I scrutinized this list and discovered that:
Only 38 names were on the list, not 46.
Seven don’t even have Jewish names.
The D.A.’s office has no record of 2 individuals on the list.
The Manhattan D.A.’s office prosecuted one of the cases, not Brooklyn.
One case wasn’t a conviction. It was dismissed and sealed.
Six out of these remaining 27 individuals cannot be located through a criminal record search.
Anyone convicted of a child sex crime should show up in this search. This raises the question of whether the D.A.’s office even convicted these six or if they did convict them but somehow managed not to report the convictions to the criminal records database.
There are 13 individuals on the above list for whom I can find no photo or information regarding the charges against them. I called the Brooklyn D.A.’s office and asked them for the mug shot and arrest report of these 13 individuals. The D.A.’s office told me that even though they convicted these individuals, they don’t have either piece of information and that I would have to do a public record request with the NYPD if I wanted it.
I submitted a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request for this information with the NYPD and they rejected the request citing rule 50(b). This prohibits the release of information which could identify a victim of child sexual abuse. I appealed the rejection and argued in writing that:
1) Releasing a mug shot of a convicted sex offender in no way identifies the victim.
2) Releasing a redacted arrest report doesn’t identify the victim, either. That’s the whole point of redacting the document.
The appeals officer (Mr. Jonathan David) made me wait nearly 5 months to issue his ruling – that my request violates rule 50(b). He did not address either of my arguments or offer any explanation as to how he arrived at his bizarre and illogical decision. He further stated in writing that releasing my requested information would constitute an invasion of privacy and would endanger the life or safety of someone.
He didn’t say to whom he was referring.
Mr. David apparently believes that when the New York State sex offender registry publicly posts the pictures of 24,000 non-Orthodox child sex predators, not one of these postings violates rule 50(b), invades anyone’s privacy or endangers anyone. But for the 13 convicted Orthodox child sex predators that I want to know about, releasing any of their photos or redacted arrest reports would violate numerous state laws.
Mr. David – why are convicted Orthodox child sex offenders protected so completely by the NYPD and the Brooklyn D.A.’s office? Why do FOIL requests in New York apply to all government agencies except law enforcement who want to conceal the identity of convicted Orthodox child sex predators from parents, advocates and the public?
Some more examples of the Brooklyn D.A.’s failure to protect Orthodox children.
1) Andrew Goodman – charged by the Brooklyn D.A. with 144 counts of child sexual abuse. Goodman was sentenced to only 2 years in prison. Upon his release from jail, Goodman took one of his previous victims across state lines where he sodomized him. Crossing state lines made Goodman’s act a Federal crime. Federal agents arrested him and Federal prosecutors got Goodman sentenced to 10 years in jail.
2) Moshe Spitzer – Charged with 135 counts of child sexual abuse. Convicted on 14 counts, sentenced to 2 years in jail and only served 3 months before he was released.
3) Shimon Benisty – Convicted by the Brooklyn D.A of abusing 2 children and was sentenced to only 11 months in jail. Upon release, Benisty moved to Israel where he was convicted of abusing another 11 children.
4) Moshe Pinter – Convicted by the Brooklyn D.A. of sexually abusing a 13 year-old boy and was given probation. Despite this conviction and 2 prior theft convictions, Pinter was not restricted by the D.A. from having contact with teen boys. Pinter was later discovered to have been taking teen yeshiva boys on unsupervised weekend getaways.
5) Avrohom Mondrowitz – wanted on numerous child sex abuse charges by the Brooklyn D.A., Mondrowitz was likely tipped off that he was about to be arrested. He fled to Israel in 1984. Israel refused to extradite him because they said the Brooklyn D.A.’s office waited too long to request extradition. Mondrowitz is a free man living in Jerusalem and has been there for over 30 years. His case is so scandalous that it was featured on ABC’s Nightline program and on CNN.
6) Gershon and Asher Kranczer – father and son wanted by the Brooklyn D.A. on horrific child sex abuse allegations. Another son, Yechezkel, was convicted on similar charges. Six years ago, Gershon and Asher fled to Israel before they could be arrested. They have not been extradited. I asked the Brooklyn D.A.’s office why they haven’t been extradited. They wouldn’t tell me citing an ongoing investigation. What, exactly, is there to investigate? The Kranczers need to be extradited and they need to be extradited now.
7) Menachem Tevel – charged with 37 counts of child sexual abuse, some of them felonies carrying a possible sentence of 25 years in jail for each count. Tevel pleaded guilty to 2 counts and was sentenced to 1 year in jail. He was released after 7 months.
8) Yoel Malik – prominent Satmar rabbi charged with 24 felonies and 52 misdemeanors of child sexual abuse was sentenced to just 60 days in jail.
9) The following men were convicted of child sex crimes by the Brooklyn D.A. and all were given probation instead of jail time:
Yechiel (Jerry) Brauner
I have on my website numerous news articles that report that Orthodox child sex abuse victims are frequently bribed or threatened by members of their community not to testify against their Orthodox abusers. These threats cannot occur without the blessing of the local rabbis who control all activities in their Jewish communities. The Brooklyn D.A. publicly acknowledges that the reason they don’t prosecute many cases of Orthodox child sex abuse is because their witnesses are threatened or bribed not to testify.
Despite this admission, I can only find one case in which the Brooklyn D.A. has ever prosecuted anyone in the Orthodox community for witness tampering, even though it appears to be common and pervasive. No rabbi has ever been prosecuted for witness tampering.
Based on my research, it is my opinion that in order to get re-elected, the Brooklyn D.A. intentionally denies justice for Orthodox child victims of sexual abuse due to pressure from Orthodox rabbis. It is clear to me that the Brooklyn D.A. cannot be trusted to make New York communities safe for Jewish children.