An Aspiring Mekubal

The confessions of a Rabbi and would be mystic

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.

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15 thoughts on “A Failure of the Jerusalem State Prosecutors Office.[Guest Post}

  1. P. Almonius on said:

    Perhaps you could clear up some things that are unclear to me in this post.

    You write that the prosecutor has thrown out testimony. Is that what you meant to say? Prosecutors don’t throw out testimony, judges do. Perhaps what the prosecutor did was that he decided not to present testimony?

    You also say that many of the children have testified. Did that happen in court, or before police/prosecution investigators?

    And in a previous post (http://mekubal.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/hashem-yerachem/), you wrote “Despite over 50 children testifying against him, much of the testimony was disqualified on account of the victims being too young to adequately testify”. Was that decision made by the prosecutor? By a judge? And why do you blame the prosecutor in the current post? If they’re too young to testify, what could have been done about it?

  2. P. Almonius on said:

    oops, I didn’t notice that this was a guest post, so my questions are directed at the anonymous author …

    • I will try to answer some of the questions. Mostly about the children’s testimony. The author of the post is quite intimately involved with what is going on, far more than myself. So if he says prosecutor, I would take that as meaning prosecutor.

      Aside from that I mostly posted this because I felt that it gave a counter-point to the Jpost article that mostly blamed the Chareidim(because of the neighborhood and suspects the primary victims) for the investigative issues and why this has gone so long. I thought as he is involved and he is Chareidi he had a valid point of view.

  3. Are these facts or rumor, that the cases are dropped, that the pedophiles are set free, that the children’s testimonies were thrown out…? Are the pedophiles free or pending trial and on house arrest or shaperone?

    • Well I saw Mr. Marcus and he is still wearing an electronic bracelet.

      I think the best way to answer your overall question is that they are observations made by someone who is directly involved in the case based upon their perceptions of what is happening and in direct response to what they felt, being both Haredi and involved, were gross misrepresentations in the quoted article.

      The truth is that the police are being singularly unhelpful. Contacting them, even going directly to them, reveals nothing. It is “their” investigation and they don’t necessarily feel the need to reveal any details with anyone. Even those who are worried that their children may have been exposed to one of the suspects.

      Even community lawyers that are trying to contact them are getting stonewalled. So I think you have the honest observations and feelings of the individual involved. How closely or not that matches the actual facts is really anyone’s guess.

  4. it is important for us to get all the facts. I spoke with a man who lives in bateh ran and he is trying to get these guys thrown in jail . according to him, 20 men have been proven to be molesters from child reports.
    my question to you tzodok, is, if we can take the law into our own hand and beat these people who have tortured inocent children.
    what is the din? are we supposed to leave it up to secular athorities?

    • I don’t believe that any Posek has ruled that one can use physical violence. Nor am I a posek who is able to give such a ruling.

      What one can do, is protest, speak to the press, resort even to pashveilim(with Posek approval). One can embarrass the police and the prosecutors into doing their jobs.

      Often with any sort of criminal proceeding here in Israel one needs to hound the police into doing their jobs. Unfortunately these parents are too overwhelmed with everything else that goes on to have the energy to do that. Also many of them are Anglos and come from countries where police and prosecutors carry out their jobs with vigor. Unfortunately that is not always the case here.
      This may, unfortunately, need to be a fight for justice, involving Rabbanim and so forth. The first step that I would recommend is approach sympathetic Gedolim(Rav Eliashiv, Rav Ovadia et al) and get them involved. They are rabbinic authorities over political parties with seated ministers. I’m sure they would be happy to use that influence if they are convinced of the need.

  5. I just spoke with the rape crisis center at 1202 or 02 625 5558 and spoke with Ayalla (who speaks English) who told me who the prosecutor was in our case, and she said that the victim’s parents have a right to speak with the prosecutor, and to know what is going on.

    Parents should have been given a code to be able to go online and check on the status of their case.

    In the beginning of our case, we were assigned a student lawyer to help us, but the rape crisis center’s legal advocates seem much more helpful (not that the student wasn’t helpful, just not as experienced).

    If you do not have a code, nor a student lawyer assigned to you, then call your local rape crisis center and ask to speak with the legal adviser.

    Ayalla said that there is often a restriction to publication of the names of the perpetrators. And on that note I may have to take shomrim yeladim’s listings down. I will be speaking with the prosecutor, hopefully, to ask if there is a way to publicize names. If there are any lawyers out there, it would be helpful to know what they understand.

    Rocky http://www.shomrimyeladim.com

    • esther on said:

      besides the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center which you mentioned in your comment, we at the Crisis Center for Religious Women (also part of the association of rape crisis centers, but specializing in religious and charedi women and children) have been helping a group of mothers whose children were molested since before the whole story went public. These mothers had already been in contact with various organizations before being referred to us, but had not found any place where they felt sufficiently understood until then. Amongst other things we ran a support group for charedi mothers of molested children for a period of several months, and are still in contact with some of these families. if anyone would like to know more about our work, or contact us for herself or other victims, you can call our hotline at 02-6730002. or email us at ccrw.office @gmail.com

  6. Elchanan Cohen on said:

    The following article by Yossi Elli was published November 23rd in Maariv Newspaper:

    The large pedophile case that was exposed two months ago by Maariv, and is causing a storm in Jerusalem’s Nachlaot neighborhood, refuses to die.

    Approximately a month ago “S,” who is suspected of initiating the establishment of a new playground in the neighborhood in order to use it as a “hunting ground” to sexually assault children, was released from prison. It has just been revealed to Maariv that about a week ago additional complaints against “S” were made to police detectives of the Tsion district, under the suspicion that he has sexually assaulted additional children since his release.

    “S,” a man in his 70s, is suspected of serving as the mastermind of the case involving the sexual assault and rape of over 60 children between the ages of 3-11.

    However, “S” was released from prison after the District Attorney determined that the evidence against him was insufficient to put him on trial.

    It is suspected that once the distancing order against him ended, “S” returned to the neighborhood, approached one of the girls, brought her by force into his apartment, and committed severe sexual crimes against her.

    Sources familiar with the details of the investigation told Maariv that the treatment of the abused children has been passed over to the Social Service Authorities who interrogated the children, and at present the police is waiting for the results of the reliability test of their testimony. In addition, after it was decided to release “S” without an indictment, four families whose children were apparently assaulted decided to leave the neighborhood and move to other neighborhoods in Jerusalem. “We feel like we are under house arrest since “S” returned to the neighborhood” another resident, a mother of 3 children, told Maariv.

    The case exploded around 2 months ago when the Jerusalem police arrested 4 men suspected of sexually assaulting and raping more than 60 children who are residents of the neighborhood. The police succeeded in bringing about the indictment of 3 of the suspects, including seduction through candy and money, and afterwards [graphic description of rape and torture of children]. Even though the majority of children interrogated identified “S” as the person who headed the pedophile ring, the District Attorney chose not to have him stand trial because he claimed that the police had collected insufficient proof to justify an indictment.

    “We view with severity and concern the fact that people who were involved on different levels in the performance of such heinous crimes were released by the police and returned to the scene of the crime without even informing the victims and their families,” said lawyer Eitan Lehman, who is representing the families of the assaulted children.
    The Jerusalem police confirmed that they have received complaints of suspected sexual assaults in the Nachlaot neighborhood, and they are currently being investigated by the juvenile investigators of the Department of Social Welfare Services. The lawyer representing one of the accused pedophiles in the case, Roee Poleetee, stated: “the case is being discussed by the court.”

    [Local residents] have demanded that the case be handled immediately in order to protect neighborhood families that are, in effect, being placed under house arrest rather than arresting the people who assaulted over 60 neighborhood children.

  7. Binyomin on said:

    Please mention their names, why is everybody protecting them!!!!

    • Two things:
      1) The names of those mentioned in court documents are listed on this blog.
      2) By court order it is illegal to publish the names of ANY of the suspects. Anyone doing so, does so at great risk to themselves. So before you accuse someone of protecting them, please look into the relevant laws, dan l’kaf zecut and think that maybe they are protecting their own families from legal prosecution.

  8. Has anyone considered the possibility of DEPORTING the ringleader, whom I have read is American? Surely he could be returned to the US on some grounds- and hopefully the US would do a much better job of protecting children than Israel has done.

  9. Another idea. If the suspect is 70 years old, I would think it would pay to investigate his background in his country of origin. Certainly a person capable of committing such heinous crimes would not have been sitting by idly for the first 7 decades of his life. There may be a crime for which he can be extradited.

  10. Pretty great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have truly loved surfing around your blog posts.
    After all I will be subscribing on your feed and I’m hoping you write again soon!

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