Lakewood Beit Din Covered Up for Alleged Molester, Yosef Kolko

Thirty seven-year Yosef Kolko, who was a teacher at Yeshiva Orchos Chaim in Lakewood, faces trial on the charge that he molested an eleven-year-old boy for approximately a year. The father of the boy, a respected rav of a shul in Lakewood, first filed the complaint in July 2009.

According to the Asbury Park Press, before he did that he went to a beit din set up by Rabbi Matisyahu Solomon, Mashgiach of Bais Medrash Govoha. The beit din sent Kolko to Gavriel Fagin, an orthodox social worker in private practice who specializes in sex abuse.

I have learned that Fagin is a very popular go-to-guy in the hasidic and yeshivish worlds. He is used both to interrogate suspects to determine if they are abusers and to treat them. He seems to do this on behalf of ultra orthodox communities who are trying to deal with credible allegations but do not want to go to the police.

The beit din required Kolko to sign a release so they could get reports from Fagin. In the end, the beit din disbanded and the father went to the police. As reported elsewhere, the father, a respected rav, was subjected to horrendous pressure and public attacks. Rabbi Yisrael Belsky publicly took the side of those harassing the father. Eventually the family moved out of Lakewood. But the family has stuck to their guns about going forward with the prosecution.

All this came to light when Kolko’s lawyer sparred with Senior Assistant Ocean County Prosecutor Laura N. Pierro about whether Gavriel Fagin could be forced to testify about his work with Kolko.

What in the world was the Lakewood Beit Din thinking? They felt the allegations were credible (yesh raglayim l’davar) or they would not have bothered with a referral and a demand that he sign a release of information to the beit din. If so, how could a therapist alone protect other kids in the community. Were they planning to hire a 24/7/365 mashgiach temimimi (supervisor)? I doubt it, but I will bet that they assured folks, “We are keeping an eye on him.”

THIS PARAGRAPH IS AN UPDATE (9:45 am) It seems to me that the beit din in Lakewood violated the New Jersey statutes which require reporting by  “Any person having reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to child abuse or neglect or acts of child abuse” (Ann. Stat. § 9:6-8.10/ pp 35-36). While most states specify the professions that are mandated reporters, New Jersey and Wyoming do not. Every competent citizen in New Jersey is a mandated reporter. This is just like the torah according to which any adult is obliged to act so as not to “stand by idly on his friend’s blood.”

Lakewood likes to think of itself as the “holy city” because it has an oversized Bais Medrash Govoha still coasting on the reputation of its illustrious founder, Rav Aharon Kotler zt”l.  Someone in Lakewood must be censoring their texts. Why else would they violate the biblical commandment “Do not stand by on the blood of your neighbor” by letting molesters continue to operate. On the other hand, Lakewood is zealous about lashon horah and the honor of the Rabbis. They are especially zealous about censorship. They went all out in signing onto the ban on Vos Iz Neias (VIN). I can’t blame them. VIN was the last haredi media outlet with a substantial readership still reporting on sex abuse. Lakewood’s rabbinical leadership is fooling itself. No amount of censorship will dampen the rising communal resentment about sex abuse and corruption. Lakewood is a company town, just as Egypt was a large piggy bank to be looted by Mubarak’s family and their associates. Lakewood will have it’s Cairo moment because even if commercial outlets dependent on advertisers can be pressured, independent bloggers are beyond their reach.

BTW, some things don’t change. In 2002 Stefan Colmer was referred to a sex offender program at Ohel. But it was a voluntary referral. At the time he had not been reported to either the police or protective services. Colmer decided to drop out and Ohel never told anyone. So Colmer got to molest many more kids because rabbonim decided to use their own ineffective methods for controlling him. Colmer even managed to move to Passaic, NJ after becoming persona non grata in Flatbush. After being forced out of Passaic he went to Israel and used the name David Cohen. In Nov 2007 Colmer became the first American extradited under a revamped treaty with Israel.

Hat Tip: D and The Nudnik for pointing out Jersey law that everyone is a mandated reporter

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66 thoughts on “Lakewood Beit Din Covered Up for Alleged Molester, Yosef Kolko

  1. Perhaps the Beis Din which handled the Kolko case was mandated to report the case to the civil authorities under the “any person” rule set forth below.

    http://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/manda.pdf
    From pages 35 to 36:

    New Jersey

    Professionals Required to Report
    No professional groups are specified in statute; all persons are required to report.

    Reporting by Other Persons
    Ann. Stat. § 9:6-8.10
    Any person having reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to child abuse or neglect or acts of child abuse shall report.

    Standards for Making a Report
    Ann. Stat. § 9:6-8.10
    A report is required when a person has reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect.

    Privileged Communications
    This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

    Inclusion of Reporter’s Name in Report
    The reporter is not specifically required by statute to provide his or her name in the report.

    Disclosure of Reporter Identity
    Ann. Stat. § 9:6-8.10a
    The identity of the reporter shall not be made public. Any information that could endanger any person shall not be released.

    • Thank you. You and another reader both pointed this out to me and I have incorporated the information into the article. You have gotten a hat tip along with the other reader, D.

  2. Yerachmiel:

    The Beth Din was required to report Kolko only if they had reasonable cause to believe he abused. If the Beth Din never received the report from Fagin then i would argue they had no reasonable cause to believe he abused. No where in your article do you allege that the Beth Din actually received the report from Fagin.

    So, without more, i do not see, as of yet, how the Lakewood Beth Din violated NJ law.

    • Sammy,

      You are missing the point. Batei din have no business getting involved. They don’t have the expertise. Interviewing the alleged victim could possibly taint any future testimony.

    • Sammy,

      They sent him to Fagin because they received a credible allegation from a respected member of the community and may have even talked to the child or designated someone to interview the child. They would have never sent him to Fagin without the allegations. Most likely they were hoping to be told that he could be prevented from molesting again by being in therapy. In fact they were mostly trying their darnedest to keep Kolko out of jail.

      But regardless of their strategy, It seems pretty clear to me that they had “reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to child abuse.” The beit din more than met the legal threshold. Sammy, they broke the law.

      More importantly, they endangered the very children they prattle on about protecting from evil, corrupt, untznius influences. The beit din bears responsiblity for the massive tznius violations inherent in child molesting. These violations ought to be of more concern to the BMG leadership. Instead they waste their time issuing kol korehs such as their prohibition on wearing stockings of less than 60-80 denier ( http://wp.me/pFbfD-2Q ).

      R. Matisyahu Solomon could probably compile a list of a dozen or more rebbies in yeshivas who were all forced out a several jobs because of molesting. I know of several molesters he knows about who are in jobs where they have easy access to victims but does not warn the public, notify the police or or protective services or urge others to notify the police.

      So yes, it is my opinion that he probably violated the law and is a cover-up artist.

    • I was relying on the Asbury Park Press which said he was 37. I am guessing they got their information from the prosecutor’s press release. But I have not independently checked that detail out. Are you saying he is 34 on the basis of any publicly available documents or on personal knowledge?

  3. Yerachmiel:

    It is my position that if the Beth Din had no more that allegations, as reported to them by a person other than the child, and they did not personally conduct an examination or interview of the child, and that they never received a report from Fagin, then they are not in violation of the NJ mandatory reporter laws.

    Your post and your comments provide no more than speculation that the Beth Din “may” or “likely” interviewed the child. I’m sorry to burst your bubble but that does not satisfy the legal threshold of reasonable cause to believe.

    Having said that, i am prepared to concede that if the Beth Din did in fact interview the child or receive a report from Fagin, that they are likely in violation of the NJ mandatory reporter laws, depending of course on the content of the report and the testimony elicited during the interview.

    • Sammy, You say, “It is my position that if the Beth Din had no more that allegations, as reported to them by a person other than the child,… they are not in violation of the NJ mandatory reporter laws.”

      Can you provide a firm basis for your assertion?

      You are skirting the issue that very few cases ever reach a beit din. Most of those never get referred out to a therapist. So, it is my unprovable assertion that they knew they had a hot potato. I say unprovable because I have pieced together my understanding from multiple sources with different kinds of contact with that and other beit din. That is the best a journalist can do with an utterly un-transparent, utterly un-accountable entity that has no trouble breaking the law on sex abuse reporting, and even believes that is the best way to go.

      Sammy, If you are right that they would only be legally obliged once they interviewed that child, I am willing to bet they would have made it their business not to interview the child so they would not incur a legal reporting obligation

      • ++Sammy, If you are right that they would only be legally obliged once they interviewed that child, I am willing to bet they would have made it their business not to interview the child so they would not incur a legal reporting obligation++

        Nothing legally wrong with that.

    • Even if New Jersey did not have such a law, the Beth Din was wrong to even touch the case, and any community which presses victims or their families to go to at Beth Din before (or in lieu of) going to the police is wrong. Rabbi Yosef Blau has written:

      “Batei Din in our times are not effective in dealing with criminal behavior. Lacking the investigative arm of the police and having restrictive standards of testimony they can not establish guilt.”

      Full article at:
      http://tzedek-tzedek.blogspot.com/2009/09/rabbis-dealing-with-abuse.html

  4. Why did the Beis Din disband? is that a related story?

    excuse my ignorance on the statuses of beis dins, but what does that even mean? why would a beis din disband in general? very cloudy aspect to the whole story

  5. To spell it out, Gavriel Fagin HIMSELF is under investigation on charges that he molested kids DURING SESSIONS! i guess he figured, if they were already molested, it would be easier to continue….

  6. I am not a phsycolagist, so I guess I haven’t got a clue..However I have heard [hersay] that someone who has this problem it is like eating popcorn. Do you know anyone who eats just one kernal? That said although I agree these problems exsist, [for that matter I know for a fact]nevertheless this guy is a bochur in mid thirties no other story has surfaced B4 or after?
    Yet again that could be due to cover-ups.
    Now all his supporters who really care for him, how come they let him stay a bochur so long where were they? & if he is such a tzadik, which one is taking him for their daughter.
    I guess it is easier to persecute the victim,but how about proving your point?
    I conclude I feel bad for the victim & his family, I guess he was too much of a talmid Chachom so they removed that threat. BTW I heard that the Novominsker is very against the persecution of the victims family.
    I must be honest I too feel bad for the aledged perp, if he did it he is not well, on top of never being married, & who will marry him? If he didn’t do it then he is also ruined because doubt will remain.
    I always feel that jail is only to keep the perp away from society, not a punishment rather a guardianship.
    I am suprised he didn’t commit suicide.

  7. It’s not too late. There’s still time. I think we shall reconvene on may 6th or thereabout to hear if this testimony will be accepted. If it is, Kolko will either beg for a deal, or disappear. It’s his choice, really, and it always has been. The balls are in his court.

    • Moshe Raitzik, Kolko’s team says that they will take this to trial-

      I’m under the impression that the FBI is looking into consiprosy regarding the case- and the fact that the child’s unlce has been heavely involved with the family.

  8. From the NJ Annotated Statutes: “Any person who knowingly fails to report suspected abuse or neglect according to the law or to comply with the provisions of the law is a disorderly person and subject to a fine of up to $1000 or up to six months imprisonment, or both.”

    • Based on the above, you would have to prove that a Beth Din knew of the mandatory reporter laws and knowingly failed to report the abuse. Only then would they be subject to criminal liability.

      • Sammy, You speak knowingly about the requirements for criminal liability. Frankly, I am not an expert on that issue, as it applies specifically to NJ and specifically to abuse reporting. Are you that knowledgeable or are you just playing at arguing? If you have that knowledge I would appreciate some references supporting your claim.

        Off the top of my head I am guessing that an act has to be deliberate but it does not have to entail knowledge of the law. There is after all the dictum that “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” In actual fact I have been repeatedly amazed at how well orthodox organizations have worked in consulting with lawyers on these issues. Back in 2003, every torah umesorah school got a memo about steps to take to avoid legal liability for sex abuse. By and large the memo was not about preventing or reporting abuse, it was about avoiding legal liability. So I am guessing that R. Solomon was familiar with the laws.

  9. Yerachmiel:

    When a statute (such as the one here) requires that in order to be subject to criminal liability the criminal must ‘knowingly’ violate the law, it generally requires that the perpetrator intends to committ the crime. It is the requisite element of ‘intent’ without which one cannot be guilty of violating that law. Therefore, one cannot intend to commit a crime that s/he does not know is a crime.

    This is the ABC’s of mens rea and criminal culpability.

    • Sammy,

      The “leaders” have been briefed on what they have to do to avoid liability. They know.

      Whether a prosecutor will be able to prove that they know is another matter. However, there is a court of universal jurisdiction which will hear the cases at the appropriate time. In that court, nothing can be hidden.

    • Sammy,
      I am trying to figure you out. On one hand, I see you use the proper vernacular, mens rea, that is Latin for “guilty mind” which would tell me that you know the different levels of intent. On the other hand, you purposely take the position that in this case intent could only be proven and would require that the defendant acted with “malice aforethought” the same level that is required for murder. Nevertheless, you know in this case the prosecution is only required to proof that the act was committed with such mental elements such as “knowingly” or “willfulness” or “recklessness”, which would be very easy. He know that there is a possibility that this guy is a molester legally it is not his job to investigate that is for the police, his job is to report it and he failed, he failed on each prong that the prosecution needs to meet, “knowingly” or “willfulness” or “recklessness”. The only thing I am not sure if the offices is in NY what is his liability based on NJ law, if he could wiggle himself out of NJ liability then NY should commence legal proceedings against this therapist. It is imperative that the State locks up a few of these therapists.

  10. There is crazy, and then there is strange. My lawyer called me yesterday morning stating that someone would be coming that day to testify about my case. Last minute notice from the prosecutor’s office.
     
    In court yesterday someone testified that he was representing a “Lakewood Bais Din,”  and claimed that he has statements against me. Having never spoken to this individual, it is beyond me how he can make any claims against me. He also claims to have had spoken to someone involved in this “Lakewood Bais Din” who gave him “legitimate” information about me. He also claimed he had legal documentation to this.
     
    I feel compelled to reiterate once again that I was never before any Bais-Din anywhere ever. Nor ever called to one. Nor did I ever speak with this fellow.
     
    My lawyer is sorting through yesterday’s information and has asked me not to comment at this time about them at this time. My lawyer did make it clear to the judge that the documentation this fellow provided is questionable, to say the least.
     
    I was not given any chance to respond directly in court yesterday, as the judge is reviewing the legitimacy of these claims to decide if I need respond. My lawyer did categorize it as hearsay.
     
    I will keep you posted. If anyone has any ideas or questions that may assist me, please contact me by phone or email. My next court date is now scheduled for the first week of May.
     
    If I may phrase my state of mind- it can be somewhat a cross between”befuddled and disconcerted.”
     
    As Pesach is approaching, if you are in position to assist me – it would be greatly appreciated.
     
    Keep me in mind in your Teffilos,
     
    Yosef Aron ben Miriam Matal
     


    Lo S’guru mipnei Ish!

  11. This is so stupid if bias din broke the law then the father of the child broke the law by going to bias din.he should have gone right away to the authorities

    • I am guessing that the father did indeed break the law. However, I would be hard pressed to imagine him being prosecuted. Unlike this beit din, and most batei din and most ultra orthodox rabbis, he did rectify his omission and willing paid the hefty price for his decision. In the unlikely event he was prosecuted and even convicted, I can not imagine him be given a sentence other than probation. On the other hand, the rabbis are ripe for prosecution. Some of them may end up joining Mr. Luban in the docket.

  12. Sammy –

    In general, ignorance of the law is no defense, even in cases where the statute includes the term “knowingly.”

    Mens rea is a basic criminal law concept that applies to most criminal prosecutions. However, the level of required intent and knowledge is not the same for all crimes. There is a scale that applies to varying degrees in different kinds of crimes. There are certain crimes under strict liability theory where mens rea can be satisfied with very little. The state does not have to prove that a murderer knew it was illegal to kill. Nor does the state have to prove that he knew it was immoral. Certain knowledge is assumed. Unless one asserts an insanity defense, of course.

    The term “knowingly” when added by statute does provide that the state must prove a greater level of intent to commit the act or omission. Such would be more than the minimum required for some criminal negligence cases. However, it does not provide that the state must prove the person possessed the knowledge that his act or omission is criminal.

    Whether the beth din knew enough to be in violation of the law is a question you and I don’t know. We can speculate as much as we want. The very fact that they sent him to the therapist proves they knew or suspected something. Certainly enough to send him to therapy. There is probable cause to suggest that the same level of knowledge that prompted them to send him to therapy was sufficient to trigger mandatory reporting to authorities and criminality upon failure to adhere to such requirements.

    I would love to see how they would fare in court using your technical defense of a required high level of intent and knowledge.

    • Exactly my point. I do not profess to know the exact level of intent required for one to be guilty and in violation of this specific statute, except to say that some level of intent is required. Which requires a fact specific analysis of what exactly the Beth Din knew. Facts that are at this point being speculated by Yerachmiel and others.

      • Sammy,
        I am glad that finally, you admitted that you do not know. Please allow me to drill down to the facts. The law requires that when a mandatory report, “suspects” or has reasons to believe that a child has been abused or neglected he must report, the word is suspects.
        The second the Beth Din was constituted, to look into the facts, legally that is enough to prove that they had suspicion and decided to send the suspect to a therapist. The prosecutor job is not to see if the Beth Din is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. No, they have a lower threshold to meet, their burden of prove is Probable cause, or as described in legal circles as having “Some Credible Evidence”, which is commonly used by grand juries while issuing indictments. Moreover, if the prosecutor has any credible evidence that one of these three elements “knowingly,” “willfulness” or “recklessness” was met, they need to bring charges. It is for the jury to decide if they are guilty or not beyond a reasonable doubt.
        Here were you go wrong and blame Yerachmiel, he is not speculating to the facts, a Beth Din was constituted that is a fact. Therefore, from this action, we could easily extrapolate, that someone must had suspicion that there might be something to the charges. According to the law, and the intent of the law is that the mandatory report’s, be obliged to report, this law takes away the decision making from mandatory report, so they cannot sweep it under the rug. As for the level of intent, if it is was met, or not, that is for the jury to decide during the trial. Regardless, of the outcome in this case I hope they throw a few of these rabbis in jail, they need to learn the hard way. Moreover, my advice to you, stop dabbling in legal theory, you only show off you lack of knowledge.

        • OMG:

          Actually, your wrong. No where in the law does it state the word “suspects”. For edification purposes below is a copy and paste of the text of the law. Your whole premise just falls away without the “suspects” word.

          9:6-8.10. REPORTS OF CHILD ABUSE

          Any person having reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to child abuse or acts of child abuse shall report the same immediately to the Division of Youth and Family Services by telephone or otherwise

    • Avi,

      Here is the relevant quote from Rabbi Belsky. The behavior the victim’s father engaged in was going to the police.

      However, a relative, Brooklyn Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, supported the position stated in the letter, saying “such behavior (as that of the victim’s father) wouldn’t be tolerated” elsewhere. “When your child tells you something, you don’t go straight to a prosecutor, you go to a Bais Din and let them examine the (evidence).”

      The article appeared in the Asbury Park Press on August 25, 2010. It does not seem to be available on line. If you have access to their archive or hard copy, it was written by Zach Patberg. The title of the article is “Lakewood Orthodox Jewish leaders want abuse accusations addressed”.

  13. The father got a taped confession from Kolko directly. There is nothing unclear about Yosef Kolko’s guilt.

  14. I agree with Rabbi Belski. I don’t see why Yerachmiel considers that to be “harassing the victims.” Of course you are supposed to go to a Beis Din to examine the evidence. The problem is that (as far as I have heard) all of the Batei Din have excessive rachmanus on the abuser, to the extent that they ignore the obligation to protect the victims. In such a society, it is probably wrong to go to beis din.

    So, theoretically Rabbi Belski is correct. One would be obligated to go to a Beis Din if they could be trusted to pasken according to halacha. However, in practice, Rabbi Belski’s ruling does not seem to apply nowadays. Being that today’s Batei Din ignore Rav Elyashiv’s psak that “even if there is grounds for suspicion (raglayim ledavar) one may go to the authorities,” Rabbi Belski’s psak does not apply. Such a Beis Din would only cause harm, what with the harassment they apply by forcing people to accept a psak shelo kehalacha (halachically incorrect ruling).

    I don’t see how Rabbi Belski’s words could be considered harassment. I would describe it as ignoring the facts about how today’s batei din operate.

    • iirc it was made in the context of a community harassment that included Mr. Luban being being charged with harassment because of text messages he sent out to many people in the community. In addition, in the Lakewood context, there was common knowledge that the father had already been to the beit din. This was a high profile case, and for purposes of this discussion I will assume that Belsky at least shared the same knowledge held by ordinary folks in Lakewood, if not more.

      Placed in that context, Belsky is condemning a father who brought a very real case to a beit din and the offender kept right on working as a yeshiva teacher up until he was arrested.

      So Belsky is playing a three part game, 1. go to a beit din; 2. accept their decision to bury the case; 3. allow a rodef to go on molesting. The father of the boy is a rav and an observant Jew. In this instance, he seems to have paskened much better than Belsky.

      It is one thing to advocate using a particular surgeon. It is a totally different thing to keep on referring people to a surgeon whose patients always die on the operating table. Belsky is knowingly driving people to an institution that is broken and bears some responsiblity for many molesters who were uncovered and allowed to continue to have access to their victims.

  15. I agree with Rabbi Belski, but only in theory. Of course you are supposed to go to a Beis Din to examine the evidence. The problem is that (as far as I have heard) all of the Batei Din have excessive rachmanus on the abuser, to the extent that they ignore the obligation to protect the victims. In such a society, it is probably wrong to go to beis din.

    So, theoretically Rabbi Belski is correct. One would be obligated to go to a Beis Din if they could be trusted to pasken according to halacha. However, in practice, Rabbi Belski’s ruling does not seem to apply nowadays. Being that today’s Batei Din ignore Rav Elyashiv’s psak that “even if there is grounds for suspicion (raglayim ledavar) one may go to the authorities,” Rabbi Belski’s psak does not apply. Such a Beis Din would only cause harm, what with the harassment they apply by forcing people to accept a psak shelo kehalacha (halachically incorrect ruling), by not allowing people to report to the police. After all, if there is a heter to do so, on what basis can a Beis Din prohibit a father from protecting his children and others in the community?

    I don’t see how Rabbi Belski’s words could be considered harassment. I would describe it as ignoring the facts about how today’s batei din operate. I think that if he were aware of the way batei din support abusers shelo kehalacha, he would pasken differently.

    For a document with Rabbi Elyashiv’s psak, check out this link.

    http://nuchemrocks.blogspot.com/2011/03/for-those-worried-about-mesira-or.html

    • Please read the quotation from Rabbi Blau elsewhere on this page, including the full essay on the Tzedek Tzedek blog.

  16. Sammy,

    I have seen some of the materials for mandated reporters. It appears to me that what the Beis Din in Lakewood did what is beyond what a mandated reporter is supposed to do before making a mandated report. If so, they would have violated the law.

    I don’t have the material at my fingertips, but I hope to post a link later.

  17. Sammy
    The word “suspect” I took from guidelines from U.S. Department of health and Human Services see
    http://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/manda.cfm
    Also, see
    http://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/clergymandated.pdf
    Additionally,” Any person having reasonable cause” is the same as saying “if a person suspects”, that is why the guidelines from U.S. Department of health and Human Services uses the word “suspect” for people with your knowledge.

    • Sammy,
      You are twisting my words, I never said that indeed they are guilty, I said, the prosecution need only to see “Some Credible Evidence”, to charge them, and in my view, that act of sending someone to a therapist is enough to claim that the Beth Din had suspicion that there might be something to the charges. I do not know they will be found guilty, that is for the jury to decide. You want the prosecution to decide the outcome that is not how our judicial system works. I understand that you are trying to squirm yourself out of your self induced predicament, so I will go back and point out how overtime you tried to change your positions.

      In your first post you wrote, “The Beth Din was required to report Kolko only if they had reasonable cause to believe he abused. If the Beth Din never received the report from Fagin then i would argue they had no reasonable cause to believe he abused.” So we know from the law that you are wrong, the intent of the law is that the mandatory report cannot sweep it under the rug and hide behind a technicality. So you failed on that point.

      Therefore, you proceed to your next argument, throwing out some nuances. “Yerachmiel: It is my position that if the Beth Din had no more that (sic)allegations, as reported to them by a person other than the child, and they did not personally conduct an examination or interview of the child, and that they never received a report from Fagin, then they are not in violation of the NJ mandatory reporter laws.” Which again was proven that in the law there is no distinction about talking to the victim and doing your own investigation, in fact the does not want mandatory report without law enforcement training doing the investigation.

      You go to the next hollow argument. “Based on the above, you would have to prove that a Beth Din knew of the mandatory reporter laws and knowingly failed to report the abuse. Only then would they be subject to criminal liability” Baloney everybody knows “Ignorance of the law excuses no one”.
      You proceed to the next empty argument “When a statute (such as the one here) requires that in order to be subject to criminal liability the criminal must ‘knowingly’ violate the law, it generally requires that the perpetrator intends to committ (sic)the crime. It is the requisite element of ‘intent’ without which one cannot be guilty of violating that law. Therefore, one cannot intend to commit a crime that s/he does not know is a crime. This is the ABC’s of mens rea and criminal culpability.” As I wrote before you don’t know for different crimes there different levels of intent. No need to repeat again, but I will point out that the place for your legal reasoning is not before they are arrested, that is part of the judge’s ruling. But, right after the prosecution completes its case-in-chief, and before the defense even starts, the judge rules based on law did the prosecution presented enough evidence to continue with the trial if not the judge has the legal right to dismiss the case right then.

      After all, you just cannot say sorry I was wrong; you must go on to your next point. “Exactly my point. I do not profess to know the exact level of intent required for one to be guilty and in violation of this specific statute, except to say that some level of intent is required. Which requires a fact specific analysis of what exactly the Beth Din knew. Facts that are at this point being speculated by Yerachmiel and others”. How can you write in the same post, “I do not profess to know the exact level of intent required for one to be guilty” And then you write, “Which requires a fact specific analysis of what exactly the Beth Din knew.” That is a contradiction, in particular after my post to you explaining the different levels of intent, and any of the tree prongs the prosecution most overcome.

      As you failed again, you got all worked up, with the wording I used to define when a mandatory reporter has the legal obligation to make a report. You think that we are in the Yeshiva and this a pilpul, so I cite to you a direct link from the U.S. Department of health and Human Services, while they describe that if a mandatory reporter suspects molestation they must report.

      So you go back to your circular argument, you wrote, “Once again, all you are doing is making conclusory (sic) allegations that the Beth Din violated the law. Tell me the “facts” that you base this allegation on. Terms such as “likely” and “probably” does not make it a fact. So far no one here has provided or stated any “facts” to conclude that the Beth Din had a legal obligation to report the abuse to law enforcement.

      Please get a grip on yourself, the fact that somebody constituted a Beth Din and the Beth Din had this man go to a therapist. That by itself is enough evidence that they suspected that he might have molested a child. Case close, if you still don’t see my point, than it is not my fault that your critical thinking is not up to par, maybe if you take Ginkgo biloba it will help.

  18. Once again, all you are doing is making conclusory allegations that the Beth Din violated the law. Tell me the “facts” that you base this allegation on. Terms such as “likely” and “probably” does not make it a fact. So far no one here has provided or stated any “facts” to conclude that the Beth Din had a legal obligation to report the abuse to law enforcement.

    I am not saying that the Beth Din did not violate the law just that if they did i have not seen any “facts” to substantiate that.

    • http://www.nj.gov/dcf/news/publications/ReportingCA.pdf
      “In New Jersey, anyone with reasonable cause to believe a child is being abused should immediately call the Child Abuse Hotline. If the child is in immediate danger, call 911 as well as 1-877 NJ ABUSE. You can call anonymously and do not need proof to report an allegation of child abuse. The Hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
      ….
      “Is it against the laws of New Jersey to fail to report suspected abuse/neglect?
      “Any person who knowingly fails to report suspected abuse or neglect according to the law or to comply with the provisions of the law is a disorderly person and subject to a fine of up to $1000 or up to six months imprisonment, or both.”

      Unlike in most other states, NJ makes everyone a mandated reporter.

      Based on the behavior of the Beis Din, it is more likely than not, in my opinion, that they had reasonable cause. We will not know for sure unless charges are brought.

    • Sammy, you are quibbling. We are all agreeing that we are not judge and jury and we do not have full access to the facts. That is why prosecutions are preceded by investigations empowered by investigative powers and convictions require a trial process.

      Most of us here feel that it sure looks like the beit din violated the law. You are searching for every logically plausible argument to introduce a scintilla of of doubt sufficient for you to insist on their possible innocence. Could be, but incredibly, incredibly unlikely.

      This whole exchange is getting tedious. You won’t stop repeating yourself. We are not persuaded by your arguments. Why don’t we just agree to disagree and and not say any more unless we have something significant and new to add to this debate?

  19. Your mention of Colmer brings to mind another crime of the Rabbis who allowed him to walk and stalk. After he left his voluntary program, he up and got married to some poor sap from out of the country. She would not have known his past, and it is likely that the references for his shidduch would have been the Rabbis he was purported to be close with.
    Many Rabbis, particularly in the chareidi camp, view all sex issues the same – and being married will cure the guy’s yetzer hara. The chassidishe velt is especially afflicted with this line of simplistic and erroneous thinking. The obvious result is that instead of helping a guy with his problem, and in Colmer’s case – protecting potential future victims, they now spread the problem to include an innocent young bride and her future children. If this is not a case of lo sa’amod al dam rei’echa, I don’t know what is.
    Ask any psychologist or psychiatrist if sex problems go away with marriage. They will laugh you out of the room as some uneducated rube. Colmer’s Rabbis have blood on their hands.
    And to the dude above who laments for “poor” Kolko that he is an older bochur who has dwindling shidduch prospects, you are out of your gourd. If he is innocent, he will move on and manage somehow. If he is guilty, he will be redd a nice shidduch with a guy named Bubba. Having rachmanus on someone like this is truly achzarius.

  20. There are at least 7 hearings, including Yosef Kolko’s, coming up in the next few weeks. Please consider attending a hearing in support of the alleged victims in these matters. On 3/25 there were over 40 survivor supporters on hand to support the alleged victims of Meir Dascalowitz and Nechemya Weberman! Help keep the momentum going and give some chizuk to sexual abuse survivors in our community!

    For dates and details, please click below:

    http://yasherkoachsupport.blogspot.com/2010/04/aprilmay-survivor-supporters-sign-up.html

  21. Attention Moshe: Moshe Raitzik, being an uncle of the “victim” did you not tell me and others that “nebach, his uncle was involved with him and many of his siblings.” Moshe- why in the world change the story now and start saying that kolko is guilty. Moshe you know fully well, that Kolko is the poor scapegoat.

    PS Moshe- the judge threw out the fathers “taped confession” as there was no confession on it.

  22. I don’t understand how a Rav, Posek, can be forced to move out of town because he wanted his sons abuser to get prosecuted? Is there anyone who can truly say they are intellectually honest with themselves, and still say that what the Rav did was wrong? The Rav is a Posek, A Talmid Chochem, A Yeshiva Man according to anyone in the Yeshiva World. He tried his best to get the accused help, to get the accused to move away from the children he abused, just to keep him away from children in general. What more or less could he or should he hav done? His son comes to him saying “Tatty, my counselor has been doing things to me for a long time now, i’m very friendly with him, i like him, and he likes me, and i’m embarrassed to tell you exactly what he’s being doing to me, or what we’ve been doing together, becuase i don’t want you to get upset at me, but its not my fault, i just couldn’t help myself, were just friends, and he told me everything is going to be o.k., no one will ever find out, and its not bad, please don’t be upset with me”, and then the boy starts to cry to him, “Ta, i’m sorry” “Ta, i”m sorry”…. Can someone please fill me in, on what a father is suppose to do in such a case? How a can he just let a man be free to keep on doing this to other children? I wish i can be an advocate to help people like this Rebbe out, but i’m a single fellow, who’s words just won’t be heard, and if anything, would just back track against me. I know Yosef, i see him shul always, and i feel bad for him. Because i’ve dealt with people like him before, and i try my best to send them to the right people for help. But if your not going to be honest with yourself that you hav a problem, its IMPOSSIBLE to get help. So sad that this Chushev Rav ha dto leave town because of the threats against him, and so sad that the Yeshiva who used to honor him, and hire him, now turned against him. What a shame to the community as whole that i am part of. I wish i can do more. All i can do is try.

  23. I’m as well a Mispallel of Ateres yeshaya. I actually sit often right next to Yosef Kolko. Seams like such a nice fellow. I really feel bad for him. I hope that he comes out of all this without becoming mentally ill. I can only imagine what type of Hell he might be going through. Hashem Should have Rachmonus on him, & his family. That being said, it does not mean that I think he’s innocent. I, as well as anybody, do not know 100% what the facts of the case are. However, it would seem absolutely ridiculous for anyone not to think that he’s guilty. Why would he have gone for therapy? Why in the world would a sweet boy, who would have no agenda, or nothing against his counselor (To the contrary, he actually liked him a lot, at least he used to), make up such ludicrous clames? A rav, A Talmid Chuchem, according to everyone, would never go to such extremes, especially if he had so much pressure from people not to, unless he was 100% certain that what his son was telling him was true! He moved out of town because of the pressure! Lost his Job, made enemies, something he would never ever do, just to make sure to protect more children, to get someone who might harm more children, away from possible targets. I don’t think someone who plays with boys in a wrong way is the “Worst person in the world”. Or deserves the worst of punishments. He’s a regular person just like anyone else, who has a “Sickness”, and what he needs is “Help”. He needs Medicine. He needs “Protective Barriers”. Whenever I deal with people with this “Sickness”, I Daven for them to get a Refuah Shlaima. Because that’s REALLY what they need. Ofcourse they are doing something wrong. Ofcourse they should work on themselves. Ofcourse they NEED HELP. Ofcourse you HAVE TO protect your children from such people. Chas Vsholom should anyone get harmed from them. But we have to try and HELP people like Yosef. Not DESTROY them. I just feel so bad for him. And ofcourse feel bad for his victim. Or better yet, Probably VictimS. Halevy there should be a Real Solution.

    • @ Also A – you’re joking right?

      Gd forbid YOUR child gets “played with in the wrong way”. Then, perhaps your seemingly relaxed view of a child abuser’s “sickness” may revert to anger and a desire to PUNISH these pervs and PREVENT them from hurting more children.

      They should be “helped” by castrating them and bunking them in prison with Bubba.

      Try having just as much rachmunis on victims as you have feeling bad for the pervs and their “sickness”. It’s offensive, and your insistence upon downplaying the severity of what molestation and rape of children is by categorizing as “playing in the wrong way” and not aknowledging the hell that survivors go through on a daily basis is demeaning.

      I truly hope that you don’t ever “deal” with children who are victims of these heinous crimes, as you say you do. You’re certainly doing them more harm than good.

      • woh, please, I was not trying to condone anything that anyone with this sicknesss does. I merely was saying that i feel bad for someone who does have it. like i did mention “That I ofcourse feel bad for the victims.” And ofcourse feel bad for anyone whose life gets destroyed because of something that was done to them. Please don’t misunderstand what I was saying. Yes, i do deal with people who sadly went through very hard times in their lives, very. And yes, i most certainly know that they are going through very hard times. B”H its dealt with very well. The proper proffessional help is given, and the succes i have Bli a”h is astounding. Not just from my personal realization, or notes and files I have documenting their improvement. But from all rabbonim involved with my cases, and the parents as well. B”H i’m able to do what i do. I wouldn’t down play any of it if i were you, or anyone else who might need help. What i was saying was, is that we have to know how to deal with the people doing these crimes, (yes i said crimes), as well. Not just with the people being affected by them. throwing them all in jail is not the answer. They get Zero help in there. Zero. As well, they will never get life in jail. They will eventually get out, with the same sickness, and same desire. There are ways of helping them. they are vey complicated, and not for this forum. And no, not by what u said(i don’t feel its proper to say words of hate, or perverted context). I hope you understand that everyone has to do the best they can in everything they do. When it comes to abusers, its probably best to leave it upto the people who know how to deal with it beat. people with experience in the field, and people who act and think rationaly, not just emotionally.

        • But, you need to say how you can help them while also protecting others from the danger they pose. Otherwise you are giving the usual establishment answer of, “We will keep an eye on them….” Unless you can explain how you plan on protecting children your answer does leave you open to the charge that you are inclined to downplay the seriousness of molesting.

        • @ Also A

          What YL said and a few other things:

          1. Perhaps it’s just me, but the word “sickness” implies a lack of responsibility on the part of the abuser, and that’s a bunch of BS. Cancer is a sickness. Having an allergy is a sickness. A head cold is a sickness. Wanting to inappropriately touch and/or rape children is NOT a sickness. Abusers have a choice to abuse or not. To say it’s a “sickness” for which they should get “help” is downplaying the severity of the abusers actions.

          2. I noticed you mentioned not one word about punishment. Do you not believe that someone who causes so much destruction and havoc in a child’s life deserves punishment?

          3. You say you do not believe in using “perverted context and hate”. I assume you are referring to my definition help as per my previous post. Why is it that what I said you find so offensive, but someone who molests and rapes a CHILD – not so offensive? How does that work exactly?

          4. Can you please clarify who you “deal” with? Abusers or victims? Furthermore, can you please tell us what formal training you have had in order to “deal” with these individuals?

          5. Can you further explain what methods you are using to gain such astounding success? I’m sure all survivors would love to know.

          6. To echo YL’s comment above, how do you protect other children in the community? Pedophilia has a very high recidivism rate. How do you propose to monitor the offender for his entire life?

          7. The fact that they get “zero help” in prison….cry me a river. No amount of help in the world makes their victim(s) whole again, so why should I care if the pedophile ever leads a regular life?

          8. Would you leave you child with a pedophile who’s been “helped”?

          I await your response to my questions.

          As an aside – for FF readers with some sense – PLEASE never send your child to see an unlicensed “therapist”. For reasons why, read up on the Weberman case. Please seek out a licensed therapist/child psychologist and get references. Also, please keep in mind that most rabbis are NOT mental health experts.

  24. why bring raitzik into this? he knows nothing of the case and is not involved. you have a question for him? call him! he’s listed!! only a shmuck would write his name on a site like this. Kolko can burn in hell for causing the good name of others to be brought into this!! shame on you!!

  25. Pardon the delay in my response Sara, I just realized there has been a reply to my comment. I will reply shortly.

  26. This was awhile ago.
    Kolko is old enough to beaware of the law.
    To play sexually with children is a crime.
    You reap what you sow.
    I don’t believe in kicking a man when he’s down so that’s why the prison system is complete bullsh in America.
    In germany they don’t punish they let them walk around in their own clothes.
    They treat not punish.
    A lot of people that are supposed to be locked up for life are not, they are free.
    So much for a good justified world.

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