The Plot Thickens and Lebovits Claims He Is an Innocent Victim of Extortion

Samuel (Shlomo Aharon שלמה אהרן) Kellner was arrested yesterday for attempting to extort money from Baruch Mordechai Lebovits in return for keeping him safe from charges of child molesting. For those new to this case, Lebovits was convicted on eight felony counts of child molesting last spring and sentenced to ten and 2/3 years to 32 years.

The witness was not Kellner’s relative nor a second witness but the third individual to come forward. In my opinion, the allegations by Kellner’s relative and by the witness at the trial were true. In addition there were many other cases I have heard about.

It is possible that a frustrated Kellner was  also trying to extort money from Lebovits. I jut don’t know. I do know that there are many strange things about this new charge. The Kings County District Attorney, Charles Hynes,  held a press conference about the arrest with a picture of Kellner on an easel. This is not his usual practice. Why? Many of us wonder why, given the legitimacy of the conviction, which the DA insisted on at the press conference, was he giving such a high-profile to the extortion case. Is he trying to help Lebovits look good? If so, why? Equally strange is the DA’s uncanny ability to find obstruction of justice among those who accuse molesters but his complete inability to ever charge anyone in the orthodox community of obstructing the prosecution of molesters. We know for a fact that there are many instances of this happening. The prosecutor for Ocean County, NJ, with the smaller orthodox Jewish population of Lakewood has managed to charge Shaul Luban with obstruction of justice for texting folks to harass the family of the witness against Yosef Kolko.

Some people are making too much of Kellner’s family connections. On the one hand he is the brother-in-law of Shimon Weiser, the fellow who got the VIN ban rolling, probably on the behest of David Niederman head of the Zaali affiliated United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg. On the other hand, Kellner’s brother is the son-in-law of Nuchem Rosenberg. As far as I can tell, neither relationship is critical to this story.

Meanwhile, Lebovits is reported to be out of prison on a quarter of a million dollars  bail pending an appeal of his conviction. The appeal by Alan Dershowitz and Arthur Aidala is related to the extortion charge. We will see if it goes anywhere. I hope not because I am convinced of the fairness of his conviction which in turn was only a limited proxy for the many other teenagers he molested. If he gets out it will be the tragic result of a foolish, perhaps greedy overzealous man. At the same time I sympathize with the frustration of relatives of the abused who watch the sex criminals walking around with impunity while they suffer.

UPDATE 11:45- Why has the DA never touched any of the extortions of the Vaad Hatznius of Williamsburg I described in Who Will Watch the Watchers?

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About Yerachmiel Lopin

Frum Follies is blog is for those who fight Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) in the Orthodox Jewish world where it is Purim all year. I fight corruption and denial by reporting, analyzing, satirizing, and agitating.
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17 Responses to The Plot Thickens and Lebovits Claims He Is an Innocent Victim of Extortion

  1. Sara says:

    *sigh*

    Let the bashing of survivors by the Illiterate Ones begin.

  2. Jewdo says:

    Source I spoke to who worked on getting Mr. Kellner out on bail inform me that the DA’s office did all they could to slow down Mr. Kellner’s release despite that fact that all paperwork for bail was received shortly after his appearance.
    Askanim I spoke to personally who usually fall over themselves to get any nebech yid or even rasha out of jail said there was concerted efforts to keep Kellner in as long as they could and many of them did ‘not want to touch this case’ as if some person spooked them.
    The plot thickens indeed.

  3. Jewdo says:

    Note-VIN also carried his name and picture which they usually do not usually do. Payback for Shimin Wiesser or is some one else in Satmar pulling strings?

  4. David says:

    I try to be objective . His trial was not fair if these allegations are true.
    He deserves a new trial at least, knowing that his witness might have been tampered.
    PS I am not from the US and I do not know any of them.

    • his trial was fair if the witness in his trial was untainted by extortion motives or by bribes. The DA insists that the extortion attempt only involved other witnesses, not the one who got Lebovits convicted.

      If Lebovits can prove otherwise then he has a claim. Otherwise- not.

      • Jay says:

        Since Kellner didn’t testify nor did the witness he allegedly bribed, there doesn’t seem to be any relevance so far as the trial is concerned.

  5. Motty says:

    Can someone please explain to me the connection between Kellner’s alleged bribery of a different victim than the one who put Leibowitz away and the release of Leibowitz from prison? Am I missing something here – or is this a well planned and brilliantly executed travesty of justice by a crack legal team and a corrupted DA’s office in cahoots with each other to obfuscate the facts from the public?

    • The relationship is not apparent. We can speculate till the cows come home, but we would have to see the legal briefs and documents handed to the court to figure out why he is getting out on bail and if he is getting out on bail. So far we have no official confirmation that Lebowitz is out on bail.

  6. savage says:

    wow

  7. Joe says:

    Yerachmiel, U cannot ignore the connection between kellner and weiser. In my yopinion this was all orchestrated by the vaad hatznius to extort money from BML. Every one knew that he’s a notorious abuser and Kellner was their gunnie pig. now we will have to charedim in prison, maybe bunked together?

  8. Zelig says:

    Samual kellner is moelsted two times:
    A family friend said that the extortion case aginst kellner is a set up. A Kellner family kid was first molested by lebovits and went on the stand against lebovits, after the trial Mr kellner who has a big family and money broke poor man started getting money offers that he should retracts testimonials that were given at trial of lebovits . kellner was set up and tricked in to this PURPORTEDLY by the trio of Moshe gabbai and Eliezer Kestenbaum. the damsak eliezer rebbi and the son of lebovits. kellner is an idiot for going along off course . kellner intends to fight back and defend himself. Of course. if this story is true then kellner got screwed twice by lebovits. What a shame

  9. Loshon Hora says:

    Nochum Rosenberg.had up on his site a little earlier tonight that BML will not be comming home for another 31 years the appeal was overturned. Last I checked he removed it. I wonder why?
    I have a feling also that Nochum Rosenberg although he has a valid point, he has gone over board way too much.He also suffers of complexes which make him demand self recognition & attention. He has too much simcha when another yid goes to jail. Although these people may well need locking away from society,but it is known they are sick & can’t be helped, but we don’t punish sick people, they are jailed so that they cannot do any more damage, & for that matter they may need a life sentance. However how could we rejoice it.
    Last but not least the Satmar Willburg type of Judaism is IMHO has many bad elements who push agendas, & many are for money. The way they do business is repulsive, & the extorsion practises are horrible.

  10. the lion that roars says:

    it is truly unfortunate that BML is out on bail
    Chaelie hynes otherwise known as the best DA money can buy once again fails to realize that this community protects molesters and doesnt help the children

    rabbis from all over the country have tried to help BML because of his sons money

    i believe the DA must place him back in jail and protect our children or have BML son build a molesters house in Boro park where molesters like BML dascalowitz and others can reside in and not leave

    BTW any rumors to the bakery man undergoing voluntary castration to prevent a long jail sentence

    and by the way WEBERMANs family is making an all out push to get the charges dropped

  11. Mr. Bookman says:

    The stupid comments on VIN defending these molesters…What’s wrong with these people?

  12. Jewdo says:

    I just called Clinton correctional facility (Sun. April 17) upstate and they informed me that BML is still in custody. I asked the officer if BML was released on house arrest would the computer still have him logged in their system, the officer responded no, if he is in the computer he is in Clinton. WTFudge?!!!

    • He is still in the pokey. I have held off on reporting the rumor that he was out till I was able to confirm it. As far as I know he will not be transferred for the next few days. The real question is who started the rumor and why. Typically, when a frum molester is up the creek they like to preserve credibility and hope by spreading rumors about an imminent appeal or release that will be a game changer and will vindicate the accused. I have seen it with Weberman and Weingarten as well.

      The moral of the story is not to react too strongly to rumors.

  13. the lion that roars says:

    it seems they are having trouble to set up the electronic bracelet system set up

    charlie hynes the da should be embarrased with his failure to protect jewish children

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