Why Sam Kellner Won’t Get His Day in Court

I am short on time, Samuel Kellner’s trial is scheduled to start tomorrow morning, and Hella Winston has reported some important new developments in this case further confirming Kellner’s innocence. So, I will cut to the chase.

For two years Sam Kellner has waited for his day in court. Sam did more than anyone else in the Hasidic community to get victims of sex abuse to press charges and testify against their molesters. But no good deed goes unpunished. He upset the cozy equilibrium between ultra orthodox Jewish voters and the Kings County District Attorney (KCDA) who went easy on their molesters.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was the conviction of Baruch (Mordechai) Lebovits and his prison sentence of 10-32 years. (It was overturned on a technicality and he is conveniently scheduled to be retried two days after the DA’s September 10th primary). At the time it was the longest sentence ever meted out to an orthodox offender. Kellner found the victim who testified against Lebovits as well as another victim who was intimidated into not testifying a while after he gave grand jury testimony of severe sexual abuse by Lebovits

Lebowitz’s camp had an ace card, their attorney Arthur Aidala, a close buddy of DA Charles J Hynes. Aidala offered the Rackets Division under Michael Vecchione the absurd claim that Kellner was an extortionist who fabricated allegations against Lebovits and demanded money not to have them press charges. When his demands were not met, Kellner was alleged to have induced a witness to falsely testify against Lebovits. This was the very same victim whose abuse was confirmed as credible by the Sex Crimes unit. But then he withdrew the charges after he was intimidated. Winston’s article includes new evidence that this witness’s subsequent testimony against Kellner was induced through bribery and manipulation by Zalmen Ashkenazi working on behalf of Lebovits.

The allegations were laughable and never should have gotten past an initial screening. But the DA went forward with the case. They assumed Kellner would roll over and plead guilty to some Mickey Mouse misdemeanor with a sentence of community service. But he wouldn’t. It is unusual for a defendant to demand a trial and for the DA to delay it. But that is what keeps on happening.

The trial is scheduled to start tomorrow morning. The defense is ready to go to trial. The DA is not and never will be. In the parlance of the KCDA, the case has been “shitcanned,” slated to never be tried.

If you can make it to the courthouse, go, because it will be very interesting. The DA will claim it needs more time to be ready for trial instead of doing the decent thing and admitting they were wrong all along and dropping the charges. The defense will have a field day lacerating the DA’s request. According to Winston, the defense maintains, “an outside investigation is now required to ensure that those ultimately responsible are held to account for this travesty of justice.”

Court is usually boring. Expect fireworks if you can make it tomorrow. Trial is scheduled to start  tomorrow, 9:30 a.m., Monday, July 8th, in Kings County NYS Supreme Court Criminal Term, 320 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY11201 in front of Judge A. M. Donnelly.

I did not have time to add many links. If you want more information search for Kellner on my site, or search for articles by Hella Winston on the website of the Jewish Week.


10 thoughts on “Why Sam Kellner Won’t Get His Day in Court

  1. Instead of, “this witlessness’s subsequent testimony against Lebovits ….,” didn’t you mean “witness’s … against Kellner”?

  2. Wow. I can’t believe the DA’s office would ask for a postponement, since it would tempt the judge to ask, “What for? So you can fabricate better evidence?” Even dropping the case, I would hate to be the ADA who has to appear in court tomorrow. I hope there are some wealthy rodfei tzedek [pursuers of justice] out there who are helping to pay Mr. Kellner’s lawyers’ well-earned fees.

    • The ADAs on the case are miserable and boxed-in. If they had more integrity they would file ethics complaints against their boss and admit this is an improper prosecution. They are desparately looking for some way to drop the case and preserve the credibility of the office. I know that Kellner will eventually have the charges dropped without having to go to trial. I fear the collateral damage of the DA’s attempts to look OK even if they have to drop the charges. I have learned of some very disturbing developments I am not free to disclose. I fear that additional illegal efforts are underway which could harm innocent people. It could also harm the careers or more of several people inside the office. But they are not covered by the term, “innocent people,” not anymore.

  3. I think DA Hynes should get a Ocsar, he is quite a exceptional acting, unfortunately at the innocent’s exspense. This is his booklet to guide parents to protect thier children from sex offenders as well how to find if a sex offenders is near your neighborhood. To Bad he doesn’t follow the tips his gives constituents.

  4. Sounds like it’s time for some ADA’s to have a “come-to-Jesus moment” — or perhaps a “come-talk-to-the-grand-jury-moment.” I’m old enough to remember Watergate, and my pleasure in watching the cracks spread upward. I trust this will be picked up by the NYT, and an announcement of a grand jury investigation before the primary is not too much to hope for.

    • While we wait for the grand jury many of the staff in the Office of the Kings County District Attorney (KCDA) are getting their chatty moments with Joel Rudin. Right now I can think of another half dozen folks in the office who should be getting their subpoenas soon. It might even be a few dozen. I think most of them will be more honest than Vecchione is alleged to be.

      • “More honest than Vecchione,” in other words they won’t perjure themselves. Not the highest bar but a good start.

        Your “Deep Throat” sources within Vecchione’s circle are doing Brooklyn a great service. I hope they take the next step and cooperate with the feds. Hynes, Vecchione and White have relinquished their right to vote.

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