By Yerachmiel Lopin (Frum Follies blog)
April 29, 2013
The Rabbi Yosef Kolko sex abuse trial did not start today. However Kolko’s attorney Michael Bachner and ADA Laura Pierro submitted some pre-trial motions to Judge Francis Hodgson. I do not have specifics about these motions.
Jury selection is now slated to start on Wednesday, May 1, 2013.
Of course there is always the possibility of a last minute plea bargain, though I have no indications that is happening. However, why would Yosef Kolko tell me that he finally realizes that he is just about out of time to make a deal? It is hard to figure out how Kolko’s thinking is being shaped by the community. There is the consideration for Kolko himself of whether to gamble on a trial with a slight chance of acquittal but a hefty sentence if he loses the bet. Some Haredi defendants go to trial because they cannot get themselves to admit their disgusting behavior to their relatives. You would think it would be easier for Kolko, since he has an Uncle Yehuda who would understand.
The Lakewood rabbinical establishment has a lot to lose if this goes to trial. A trial will expose their involvement in a cover-up. So it is possible that some elements in Lakewood will raise mega-sums to take care of Kolko’s family while he is in jail in return for his silence. On the other hand there are some types who prefer a trial and will, if necessary, conduct a long campaign to protest his innocence publicly. It won’t help Kolko any more than a lot of public rabble rousing helped Rubashkin. But it will deter other victims of abuse from coming forward.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Jury selection for Yosef Kolko trial is scheduled to start on Wednesday, May 1, 9:00 am. See the previous posting for location and other details.