Meir Dascalowitz appeared in Brooklyn Supreme Court this morning, as scheduled.
He was scheduled to appear in front of the Honorable Dineen Ann Riviezzo who replaced the Honorable Danny K Chun. It is not clear why Chun is no longer presiding. However, according to the sign on the door and the updated court system record Dascalowitz actually appeared before the Honorable Miriam Cyrulnik. Apparently, another source of lousy justice in Brooklyn is the continual movement of cases between judges during the long period after arraignment and before the actual trial or plea bargain.
Dascalowitz’ had only three supporters with him; fourteen community members showed up to support the victim’s family. Hooray! However, this does not mean we can expect the same ratios if or when he goes to trial. If the past is any indicator he will probably have about one hundred Hasidim attending, mostly from Satmar, and from Pupa, a Williamsburg-based Hasidic group closely aligned with Satmar. Most of them will attend as a courtesy to others in the community. Because of Dascalowitz’s longstanding reputation as an alleged molester they will assume he is guilty. However, adhering to a unfortunate communal norm they will still try to keep him out of jail.
His lawyer, Israel Fried, continues to insist he is not mentally capable of participating in his own defense. The court ordered a psychological evaluation and scheduled his next appearance for March 25, 2011. His lawyer raised this issue on Dec 8, 2010 and again in January, 2011. I do not understand why this is still not resolved.It is over nine months since he was arrested in May 2010 and he is reputed to have confessed at the time of arrest.
Kevin O’Donnel represented the Office of the District Attorney of Kings County. To the best of my knowledge, the ADA of record remains Louise Cohen, who heads to DA’s sex crimes unit. However, following protests about her mishandling of the case, she has pulled back and delegated most of the work on the case to Kevin O’Donnel. Henna White of the DA’s liaison office, Kol Tzedek, was also not present. This is good news according to activists involved in this case who derisively call her office, Kol Sheker (Voice of Lies).
I will post more details as they become available
Hat tip to DH, and others