By Jenna Flanagan (WNYC News)
May 24, 2012
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes defended his record of prosecuting allegations of child sex abuse on Thursday. He has been criticized for his handling of such cases in the Orthodox Jewish community.
"I've prosecuted 96 Ultra Orthodox Jews over the last 3 years, more than anybody in the entire country," Hynes asserted. "I was doing a very, very fine job and then I came to learn that I was giving preferential treatment to the Ultra Orthodox Jews."
Hynes added of those 96 prosecutions, he has a 72 percent conviction rate.
A New York Times article claimed Hynes failed to intervene when an Orthodox Jewish organization told him that followers had to get permission from a rabbi before reporting allegations of sex abuse to the authorities.
The Brooklyn DA is also pushing for legislation that would add rabbis and other religious leaders to the list of professionals required to report allegations child sex abuse to the authorities.
Hynes, who is currently in the process of drafting legislation, is confident that it will pass the state legislature. He noted that 26 other states have similar rules on the books.