What Sort of a Sentence for Lebovits?

**NOTE- Since this was posted the sentencing date was moved to Monday April 12

Rabbi Baruch Mordechai Lebovits has been convicted. Justice Di Patricia M. Di Mango will set his sentence on Monday,  April 12. Judges have discretion in setting a sentence. You can be sure Lebovits’ supporters will churn out all sorts of letters attesting to his fine character, kindness and charity. Reading them you will be surprised that this man has not been declared  a saint.

In October 2009, right after Yom Kippur, another molester, Yona Weinberg, was up for sentencing. Like Lebovits he gambled on a trial. He was probably hoping that the ordeal of testifying would discourage or overwhelm his witnesses. His gamble failed and he was convicted

This is  Hella Winston‘s account of the sentencing in the Jewish Week.

Judge Gustin Reichbach said he found it “troubling” that the community “seeks to blame, indeed punish victims.”…Making his comments before a courtroom packed with supporters of the 31-year-old Weinberg – among them, school principals, two rabbis and civic leaders – the judge spoke of receiving more than 90 letters attesting to Weinberg’s character and innocence. None of the letters, the judge noted, “displays any concern or any sympathy or even any acknowledgment for these young victims which, frankly, I find shameful.” Judge Reichbach referred to a letter expressing sadness “that Weinberg’s love of humankind has turned against him,” as “the height of chutzpah.”

Let the world know that we care about our children, that we care enough to suffer the embarrassment of exposing a molester in our midst  in order to protect our children. Everyone is busy getting ready for Passover. Don’t just settle for cleaning out your household chometz while molesters roam about. Find the time to write a  letter to Justice Di Mango.

I feel sorry for Lebovits’ family. I even feel sorry for Lebovits; prison is a harsh place. However, we cannot extend kindness to the Lebovits family at the expense of the victims. They suffer as well: some of them in silence, others by losing their way or even their life. Every night in Brooklyn a man wakes up from a nightmare. Every day a boy struggles with fear. Every day a marriage is strained because intimacy is difficult. On some days victims contemplate suicide. Some days they commit suicide. Mercy for Lebovits cannot be purchased at the expense of his victims. His blood is not redder than the blood of his victims.

Somebody will tell you that he has done tshuvah (repented). It is hard to know for sure who did tshuvah. But the minimum requirement is admitting your acts, demonstrating regret, begging your victims for forgiveness, and doing your best to repair the damage. A molester who does tshuvah pleads guilty; he doesn’t call his accuser a liar, a con artist and a bum. Anyone who claims Lebovits did tshuvah is either an am haaretz, a shakran, or a shoteh (an ignoramus, a liar or a fool). They certainly should not be accepted as a shofet or a dayan (a judge). They are contemptible misleaders not even fit to be janitors in a courthouse in Sodom.

Get your letter into Judge Di Mango by Tuesday, April 7. Let her hear the voices of menschlichkeit (decency) in our community. Write from your heart. Write about your experiences. Tell her about yourself and let her know how decent Jews feel about the impact of this crime on the community. Make it personal. Words that come  from your heart will reach her heart. When you sit down to your Passover seder, do it with the knowledge that you helped make it a leyl shmurim (a night of safety) for all children.

This week  almost 7,000 readers came to Frum Follies, almost all to find out about Lebovits. Almost all of you are disturbed by his conduct and the problem of molesting. Now is the time to do somethingWrite to:

The Honorable Patrica M. Di Mango
Supreme Court, Kings County
320 Jay Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Dear Justice Di Mango,                                                     Re: Sentencing of Baruch Lebovits

(be sure to include the date, your full name, address, and a hand written signature)

You can also support Lebovits’ victims by being in the courtroom during sentencing. Show up Monday, April 12 by 9:30 a.m. to be sure you get seated. Judge Di Mango will be sentencing in Part 85, Room 28, 15th Floor, Kings County Supreme Court, 320 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201. (When you reach the courthouse, double check the room assignment; depending on the number of supporters they may move sentencing to a larger room).

You can be sure that Lebovits’ supporters will be out in force. The media will be covering the event. Let’s make sure that every victim of molesting in the community finds out that we are on their side. This can help them heal. Let’s make sure that every molester and enabler of molesters learns that the cover-ups are doomed. This will help them see that the best way to avoid scandal is to nip the problem in the bud. Passover is zman cheiruteinu (the season of freedom/redemption). Lets’ make it such a season for our community.

**NOTE- Since this was posted the sentencing date was moved to Monday April 12, and all the dates in the article have been corrected accordingly.

19 thoughts on “What Sort of a Sentence for Lebovits?

  1. Yeracmiel!

    You could not have written better, you didn’t leave me anything to add. Maybe we can add that those that stick up for BML are themselves guilty of molesting.

    • Thank you for the compliment. I wouldn’t go so far as to accuse Lebovits’ defenders of being molesters themselves with the exception of Berel Ashkenazi. His defenders may be family or friends who value their reputations more than they care about other people’s children. They may be superficial people who think the levush makes a yid, when in this case it is the disguise of a shaygetz. They may even be balei rachamim who have forgotten the lesson of Shaul that rachmonis when it is unjustified makes you a cruel person.

      What amazes me is that when you know these folks personally they admit that ploini is guilty but he did tsuvah. They hand out these claims faster than popes used to sell blanket “indulgences” for a hefty fee.

      It is a strange thing how otherwise smart people would sooner deny a problem then start fixing it.

  2. Fix up the spellin and the grammer and u got yourself a piece John Jay could not of written. BTW, it is Shoteh not shoter. Shoter is a policeman.

  3. yes write letter begging for compasion, even a wrong doer deserves compasion, we are still jewish, have we all lived do long in the us of A that we are so fargrebt, that we lost our 3 symbols of being a jew

    Do you honestly beleive that the jury convicted BML on evidence that he was a molester, or only convicted him because he was a chasidic jew, because no evidence was presented at trial, the sole witness/accuser purjerd himself and even the jury saw that and took off two counts if thats not reasonable doubt so what is….

    the prosicution did hide the investigaters notes and didn’t turn that over to the defense, we wonder why did that happen??????

    remember, we are all jewish, the mitzvah of pidyan shevium goes on even for a murderrer, show some compassion for the accused and the accuser

    • John,

      You say: have we all lived do long in the USA that we are so fargrebt, that we lost our 3 symbols of being a jew.

      I say, A chazer is still a tomeh even if he shows cleft hoofs. Even if he calls himself Baruch instead of Bernard or Benedict and uses Yiddish and his heimesh levush to get a kid into his car, he is still a chazer.

      Rachmonis when Achzoriyis is required leads to much more cruelty. If this menuval would have pleaded guilty he would have gotten a much lighter sentence. Now if he gets a light sentence every other molester will say, let’s gamble on a trial. Maybe the kid can be pressured or maybe he will crack up on the witness stand. At worst I will not be any worse off. No, we need to get molesters to realize that they will be accused and they will be sentenced. We must stop the mageyfah. I have rachmonis on anyone going to jail. I have more rachmonis on the victims.

      As Rav Moshe Sternbuch, Av Bes Din of the Eidah Hachareidis said, these trials and sentences must go forward “l’man yishmauh v’yirahu,” so the molesters will hear and be afraid. Obviously these molesters are not yirei shamayim. The next best thing is a healthy fear of the State Penitentiary. It might even lead a few of them to tshuvah.

      • that’s why you are not a rav, and as i wrote a few times, you need beth din approval for every individual situation, something that did not do, he did not look for halachic guidance, can you post any psak din for this specific case allowing him to go to the DA, i know that you know that no competent rav would be matir mesirah here

        and what heter do you have to accuse BA on total unfounded hersey

        ask NR why he is so busy with everyone molesting and he is quite about his first cousin the famous Rabbi Jerry B from BP who was convicted a few times and appears on the registry. Or maybe first cousin’s have exemption status??????

      • Do you call a rav about a heter for mesirah when a heimish meshuganah with a knife chases you down the street or do you dial 911. Din rodef supersedes the issur of mesirah. Someone who has repeatedly molested is a rodef according to many poskim. No one has argued that this is not the case. Unfortunately we have a serious problem of ignorant poskim who do not understand that it means nothing when a serial molesters cries about tshuvah. I do not know of a single case where a serial molester took all the necessary steps for true tshuvah and stopped. So on top of the molesting problem we have a serious problem of rabbonim with the chutzpah to pasken when they dont understand the metzius. No one has the chutzpah to pasken shechitah if they can’t tell a trachea from an artery or kidneys from a liver. Yet every yankel berel runs out to ban mesirah.

        No sir, it is not ossur to report a serial molester to the police. It is a chiyuv to protect others from this dangerous behavior that is causing a plague of suicides, mental illness, etc. There are good reasons that poskim have ruled that potential molesting rises to the level of sacconos nefoshos.

        The reputation of a molester is nothing to me, The safety of children is everything.

  4. rocky, im sorry to tell you but most of the 5000 people that checked up on the klebovits story just wanted to know the raid they could really care less about protecting children unfortunatly myself included

  5. Yerachmial
    We have to notify the Jewish week they should put a notice. to all readers to send and ask the judge to count each.count seprate to the max Becouse he runed the life of innocent boy ,plus other boys who didn’t come out Becouse the rabbi stature , that nobod y will belive them

    I know and spoke to the victim who Berrel ashkanazi molested
    Great job done
    God bless you

  6. Yerachmiel – Excellently written!

    I just wrote a letter to the judge and it will be going into the mail today!

    I wish I could go to the court for the sentencing. My letter will have to fill in for me this time.

    Thanks for the excellent post! And take heart – there are plenty of us who care.

  7. Pingback: Why Rachmonis for Baruch Lebovits is a Dangerous Mistake « FRUM FOLLIES by Yerachmiel Lopin

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