A 59-year-old leader of New York’s prominent Orthodox Jewish community is facing a serious allegation after an investigation was launched into his activities, according to local sources. The man, who is a leader of an auxiliary police force servicing New York’s Orthodox neighborhoods, is facing charges of statutory rape and sexual abuse, as well as other charges. He stands accused of abusing a teenage girl, and if he is found guilty, he could face jail time as well as the loss of his community position. He is likely focused on preparing his criminal defense as the case heads to court.
According to the police report, the alleged abuse took place between Aug. and Nov. 2017 at the accused man’s home. The girl, who cannot be identified publicly as she is a minor, was said to be 15 years old at the time. A further inquiry has been launched to determine whether the alleged abuse continued before or after this time span, and whether there were other victims of the alleged assaults.
The man, who has retained his position in the community organization for many years since the group’s founding in the 1970s, was arrested on May 10. He is currently being held by the Brooklyn Special Victims squad. This is not the first allegation of illegal or questionable behavior directed toward this organization, and the severity of these charges does little to improve the group’s public image.
This could pose a serious problem for the group at large, and possibly for the communities it services. However, New York prosecutors are responsible for proving the man indeed abused a minor, a charge that is not always easy to prove in a court of law. The man’s criminal defense team will likely wish to cross-examine prosecution witnesses, including the alleged victim, to draw out any gaps in testimony that could indicate the alleged events did not unfold the way the authorities claim they did. This could have a profound impact on the outcome of the man’s trial.
Source: New York Times, “Brooklyn Safety Patrol Leader Is Charged in Sex Abuse of Teen“, Al Baker, May 11, 2018