Rabbi Condemns Judge For Lenient Sentence In Abuse Case

By Sandy Eller (VIN News)
July 13, 2012

In a press release made public today, a Brooklyn rabbi slammed a Supreme Court judge who handed down the minimum allowable sentence yesterday to an admitted serial pedophile, saying that the sentence completely undermines the justice system and will have devastating results within the Jewish community.

“You have made a mockery of justice and spat in the face of our families,” said Rabbi Shea Hecht, with the National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education, in his press release.

As previously reported on VIN News, Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Martin Murphy yesterday sentenced Andrew Goodman to just two years in jail. The 27 year old Goodman, a resident of Flatbush, admitted to sexually abusing a pair of Orthodox brothers over a period of four years, and pleaded guilty to 118 counts of 48 felonies. Although Goodman made bail after his arrest in 2010, he was remanded to Riker’s Island after community members filmed other boys leaving his home in the early morning hours, and with time already served, Goodman will have completed his sentence and will be out on the streets in just two months.

Rabbi Hecht further accused Judge Murphy of reversing the positive strides made by Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, whose office has devoted considerable resources to persuading Jewish victims to report instances of abuse to the authorities and trusting the legal system to mete out justice.

“Your compassion for an unrepentant pedophile only reinforces the notion that the justice system is no place for a Jew. You have set the efforts to lift the veil of silence from our communities back almost completely,” said Rabbi Hecht.

Rabbi Hecht, who sent a letter to Judge Murphy prior to the sentencing asking for an appropriately lengthy sentence to be served, was just one individual who requested a tougher sentence for Goodman.

According to reports on the Sheepshead Bay blog, SheepsheadBites.com, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz sent a letter to Judge Murphy asking for a seven year sentence for Goodman, a prison term recommended by the Brooklyn DA’s office. Prosecutors had been seeking a seven year sentence on each count, which would have kept Goodman in jail for the rest of his life.

Despite what he termed a miscarriage of justice, Rabbi Hecht was steadfast in his commitment that all cases of sexual abuse must be reported to the authorities.

“Abusers like Goodman are an imminent threat to our children and our families,” stressed Rabbi Hecht. “We are obligated by Jewish law to eradicate their threat by reporting them to the authorities.”