By Yerachmiel Lopin (Frum Follies blog)
June 8, 2013
In May 2012 the New York Daily News reported that Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes said,
The intimidation of sex abuse victims in the Orthodox Jewish community went beyond the bullying tactics the mob uses to silence witnesses. I haven’t seen this kind of intimidation in organized crime cases or police corruption… Nobody gives a damn about victims… All they care about is protecting the abusers.
The same article went on to report that
Hynes said he has put together a panel of officials to develop strategies to stop bullies. The aim “is to put people in handcuffs [if they] intimidate, harass or otherwise threaten victims or their families.”
A year has passed and Joe Hynes still hasn’t sent an orthodox Jew to jail for obstruction of justice. I thought perhaps he had done it sometime in the past, so I emailed Jerry Schmetterer, the Director of Public Information of the Kings County District Attorney’s Office:
From: Yerachmiel Lopin <xxx>
Sent: Wed, June 7, 2013
Subject: Obstruction of Justice in Orthodox Community
Dear Mr. Schmetterer,
I am writing to follow up on my message of 6/5/13 to which I have not gotten a reply. If I do not hear from you, I will assume and report that the Kings County Office of the District Attorney has never secured a single conviction LEADING TO JAIL TIME of anyone obstructing justice in any form relating to the prosecution of child abuse in the orthodox Jewish community. Please correct me if I am wrong…
He disingenuously replied.
District Attorney Hynes has consistently stated the difficulty of making intimidation cases related to child sexual abuse in the Orthodox community. The recent successful prosecution of the Berger brothers shows what can be accomplished with the cooperation of the community. (Emphasis added by YL)
The three Berger brothers (Jacob, Joseph, and Hertzka) tried to intimidate Hershy (Boorey) Deutsch, the boyfriend (and now husband) of the witness against Weberman. They threatened to destroy his livelihood from the restaurant he owned by removing its kosher certification which their father had issued. When Boorey told them to buzz off, the certification was revoked. He was not able to get an alternative certifier and had to close his restaurant. Hynes arrested them and announced it with a lot of fanfare. At the end of the prosecution they pleaded guilty but did not get sentenced to any imprisonment. (The fourth person arrested with the Berger brothers is still awaiting trial or, more likely, a sweetheart deal).
Hynes is in his 24th year as District Attorney. During this period no Haredi has ever been sentenced to a single day of prison time for harassing, intimidating, threatening or trying to bribe victims of sex abuse.
Gee, I wonder why the ultra orthodox community keeps on harassing victims who report child abuse. Could it be because ultra orthodox leadership knows it has a friend in Joe Hynes. No wonder the ultra orthodox leadership doesn’t lose any sleep about the DA’s promise “to put people in handcuffs [if they] intimidate, harass or otherwise threaten victims or their families.”