Rav Sternbuch: Written psak to report Kolko to police

By Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn (Da'as Torah blog)
May 23, 2013

Cautionary note: Even though in the case addressed in the letter there was a confession, Rav Sternbuch has told me that is not a necessary condition to require going to the police. I did not post this as a teshuva - since Rav Sternbuch did not write it to explicate the parameters for reporting. For those interested his views are discussed in details in my books on abuse as well as various postings that can be found by searching for "police" on this blog. THE REASON I POSTED IT IS TO SHOW THAT THERE ARE GEDOLIM WHO REQUIRE GOING TO THE POLICE - contrary to what one would conclude who has been following the pronouncements of the Lakewood establishment and Rav Belsky concerning child abuse.

Update 5/23/13: A rough translation is:

Concerning your question regarding someone who is suspected of the disgusting and serious crime [of pedophilia], And there are those who claim he confessed and a high level rav verified that there seems to be a solid basis to the suspicions and it is also well known that this disease [pedophilia] is difficult [for the pedophile to stop abusing children]. Therefore we are obligated to report him because he is a danger to the community. In addition someone who interferes with reporting him can possibly be causing additional harm to the community. In particular in our days where pedophilia has become widespread - we are obligated to report him. See the Taz Yoreh Deah, #154.

(ח) חייב מיתה כשבע בן בכרי. - נראה דלהכי נקטיה כשבע בן בכרי דאע"פ דבדין תורה לא היה חייב מיתה אלא מצד חוק המלכות שמרד בדוד מ"מ מוסרין אותו אם יחדוהו ומינה אף בזמנינו מי שפושע ומורד במלכות שלו מוסרין אותו וה"ה בשאר עבירות שאחד מוחזק בהם כגון עוסק בזיופי' או שאר דברים שיש בהם סכנה פשיטא שמוסרין אותו ומן הראוי למסור אותו אפי' אם לא יחדוהו כיון שהוא כמו רודף לשאר ישראל ע"י מעשיו הרעים שעושה בפשיעה כן נראה לי בזה ועוד נראה לי דבמקום שאין מוסרין אותו אין חילוק בין מסירה למיתה או לשאר יסורים או אפילו לממון דלענין יסורים פשיטא שהם גרועים ממיתה כדאמרינן באלו נערות (דף ל"ג) אלמלא נגדוהו לחנניא מישאל ועזריה הוה פלחו לצלמא ויליף מזה דיסורים קשים ממיתה ויליף דמלקות חמור ממיתה וראיה דהא בירושלמי לא קאמר תבעיתיה מלכא להריגה אלא סתם תבעיתיה אפשר ליסורין לחוד (ואין) [ויש] לנו להחמיר מספק ואפי' לממון מצינו בפרק הגוזל בתרא דקאמר על זה קרא כתוא מכמר כיון שנפל בידי עובדי כוכבים שוב אין מרחמין עליו כן נראה לע"ד

[translation from my Child and Domestic Abuse volume II page 99]

Taz (Y.D. 157:8): If he is liable to the death penalty like Sheva ben Bichri. It would appear that the reason why Sheva ben Bichri is used as an example is that even though he was not liable to the death penalty according to the law of the Torah but rather according to the law of kings in that he had rebelled against Dovid – nevertheless he was handed over since he was singled out. We learn from this that even today that someone committed a transgression and rebelled against his secular government – he is to be handed over to the government. This is true for other sins that are inherently a danger to the community such as counterfeiting – they are handed over to the government. They are to be given over even if the government did not specify that particular person since he is like a rodef (pursuer) that is endanger the rest of the Jews by his bad deeds that are transgressions of the law. This is my opinion