A Failure of the Jerusalem State Prosecutors Office.[Guest Post}
This is a guest post, used with permission. The Author desired to remain anonymous.
Melanie Lidman’s article “5 Men Arrested for Sexually Abusing Minors inJerusalem” distorts facts and does a disservice to the cause of bringing pedophiles to justice.
It is sadly true, as the JPost article mentions, that a ring of pedophiles was active in Nachlaot.
But the article fails entirely to mention the three most important facts of the Nachlaot story:
First, Nachlaot is a mixed religious and secular neighborhood, with not only Haredi populations but also non-Haredi religious and secular residents. The pedophiles did not discriminate based on religious philosophy but targeted all children who played outside the tiny park that serves the community’s many children, most of whom are not Haredi but secular and non-Haredi religious.
Second, as of the date of the JPost article, the families who have encouraged their children to testify against the molesters, and whose children are receiving therapy to overcome the destructive emotional effects of sexual abuse, are overwhelmingly Haredi, contrary to the statement by Police Spokesman Shlomo Ben-Ruby quoted in the JPost article.
Third, and most tragically, what Ben-Ruby fails to mention is that the Jerusalem State Prosecutor, Eli Abarbanel, apparently has thrown out the overwhelming majority of the testimony of those children, who bravely testified against their cruel tormentors in the pedophile ring. Many of the children have testified, and files have been compiled on each perpetrator. But for reasons unknown, these criminals have been arrested but then set free.
It was the Haredi community of Nachlaot who brought them to justice, and it is the criminal justice system here, led by Abarbanel, that has found every excuse to set them free. Today, 4 out of the 5 molesters have been released, and other molesters who have committed similar acts have either not been arrested at all, despite the children’s testimony, or have been arrested and released as well and are now living in other communities in the Jerusalem area. As a result, those communities too have been endangered.
The question that responsible journalism needs to answer is: What caused this dismal failure in the prosecutor’s office here? And what needs to be done to rectify that failure?
In this effort, the courageous Haredi community of Nachlaot, as it has hitherto, will likely play a central role, and the truth of the matter will become known sooner or later. Meanwhile, the JPost and its reporters should not facilitate the failure of the criminal justice system by unfair reporting such as that of Lidman’s article, but rather should focus on uncovering the true state of affairs here in Jerusalem so that children here will be protected to the greatest extent possible from sexual predators in the future.