Yosef Kolko Sentencing Scheduled for Thursday, October 17, 1:30 P.M.

Rabbi (sic) Yosef Kolko

Yosef Kolko, is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday October 17, 1:30 p.m.  in the Civil Division of the Superior Court, Courtroom 16/ 120 Hooper Ave/ Toms River, NJ 08753/ (732) 929-4780 (case # 10-06-1181i). Judge Francis Hodgson is presiding.

His sentencing was originally scheduled for Erev Rosh Hashanah, September 4, but Kolko then announced a change of attorney and his intention to file a motion to withdraw his mid-trial, guilty plea to all seven charges (which include oral sex, attempted anal penetration and other offenses).

Judge Hodgson gave his new attorney, Alan L.  Zegas a September 30 deadline for submitting the motion to withdraw the plea. The judge said he would rule on the motion during the scheduled sentencing session, and if he denied it, he would proceed straight to sentencing. This motion is not likely to succeed. If the judge thought it had reasonable chance of succeeding he would have scheduled the sentencing for a later date to save all parties involved the effort of preparing and evaluating sentencing motions.

Rabbi Yisroel Belsky

Rabbi Yisroel Belsky

At the time of the plea bargain, the deal was for a sentence of 5-15 years. However, plea bargains usually depend on defendants accepting responsibility for their crimes. I do not know if this motion will be construed as a violation of that obligation and thus will leave him liable for the full potential sentence of 40 years.

Hovering in the background of this drama is Rabbi Israel (Yisroel) Belsky, the last rabbi left standing who continues to publicly, and absurdly insist on Yosef Kolko’s innocence (as he also insists on the innocence of Yosef’s uncle, Yehudah Kolko). I believe he advised Yosef Kolko to make the motion to withdraw the guilty plea, not for the sake of Yosef Kolko, but for his own standing as the heat builds up on him at the Orthodox Union (OU). (See, “Why Is Yosef Kolko Trying To Withdraw His Guilty Plea?“)

Abraham Rubin, Mendel Epstein

Abraham Rubin, Mendel Epstein

Belsky is also getting a lot of attention with the arrests of his close rabbinical colleagues, Rabbi Mendel Epstein and others, for orchestrating kidnapping and torture to secure divorces from recalcitrant husbands. Whether Belsky had a role in the current case is not yet clear, but he has functioned together with Rabbi Epstein in other such divorce cases in the past particularly in the case of Abraham Rubin‘s kidnapping and torture in 1996. The case culminated in a lawsuit, Rubin V. Belsky et al in New York State Courts.

This case should have been prosecuted in 1996, but Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes took a pass. So we had to wait for the feds to come to the rescue seventeen years later.This in spite of the fact that Epstein stated he did one of these kidnapping about every one to two years.

At the time, Newsday reported:

While no one has ever been prosecuted for a get-related attack in New York City, that may soon  change. Det. Robert Roddenberg of the 66th Precinct said Rubin’s case might be the first of its kind to make it into a courtroom.

“Rubin is entitled to his day in court and the best investigation we can do,” Roddenberg said. “Rubin is one of the few who have stood up. He was abducted. They beat the – – – out of him.

“They investigators spent an awful lot of time doing this case and it was really nitpicked to do it right,” Roddenberg said. “It was done as well as any homicide case could be done. Just like not every homicide case gets solved, will this case get solved? That’s up to the DA’s office.

If You Want to Attend Yosef Kolko’s Sentencing

Yosef Kolko is scheduled to be sentence on October 17 (tentatively set for 1:30 p.m.) in the Civil Division of the Superior Court, Courtroom 16/ 120 Hooper Ave/ Toms River, NJ 08753/ (732) 929-4780 (case # 10-06-1181i). Judge Francis Hodgson is presiding. Because court dates can change at the last minute, I urge readers to call and confirm the court date before going.

If You Want Background on This Case

Hella Winston has written an in-depth account of how Lakewood’s rabbinical leaders dealt with this case and how the dominant leadership faction tried to cover it up.

Survivors for Justice has a page on the Yosef Kolko case (as distinct from the case of his uncle, Yehuda (Joel) Kolko). The page has links to key documents generated by Kolko’s supporters (including Yisroel Belsky) and to some other news accounts.

Other bloggers addressing this case include Harry Maryles  on his blog, Emes Ve-Emunah (The Moral Authority of Lakewood), and Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn on his blog, Daas Torah (e.g, Why the Lakewood Establishment is Scared). Daas Torah has many other posts about Kolko and about Belsky and the misconduct of the Lakewood rabbinical establishment.

Some of my many other posts about Belsky’s connection to the Kolko case:

26 thoughts on “Yosef Kolko Sentencing Scheduled for Thursday, October 17, 1:30 P.M.

  1. I’m very curious to see how Epstein’s damaged reputation continues to degrade once discovery and evidence gathering begins, pending trial that should be the show of shows. Years ago people I know well, and trust implicitly gave me concrete examples of what a scumbag he was and is. This included attempting to ruin amicable divorce proceedings where a get had been secured, extortion, and, sad to say, bizarre relationships with some of his female clients.

    Look at the present accustions- he’s taking 50 to one hundred grand from women to coerce a get- from a recalcitrant husband- a “get meusa” -that’s likely invalid anyway? For that much money most men would just as soon take the cash and give the get without getting their genitals fried- and the get would be valid.

    I think this guy’s been operating a slimey business for way too long, and he is in no way the champion of helpless agunot that he’s been made out to be.

    I’d love to hear some additional bacground information on him if it’s available from YL’s readership.

  2. I told someone today the exact same thing if the women would offer the 100 G the men would not refuse the offer and give the get on a golden platter but they preferred to give Epstein the money just for the pleasure of torturing their husbands testicles

    • Yeah, but if Epstein is such a big Talmud Chacham, then he should know that doing just that might render the get invalid anyway. Clearly he was in it for the money and could have cared less about anyone else’s wellbeing

  3. Just for the sake of me not having even a shadow of a doubt, can I respectfully ask you how you are so sure that Kolko is guilty? How do we know that he didn’t plead guilty for other reasons as he now claims? I also find it hard to believe that all the condemners of the chased away Rabbi (except for 1 who asked Mechila) who still hold on to their original position, ar doing so in sin, and to simply say that they all have no Yiras Shomayim is not so easy for me to believe.

  4. and why is this the only Jewish site to comment on this case in advance? the judge will have no mercy. it’s like watching a train wreck in slo-mo.

    • This is indeed a train wreck in slo-mo. I have strong reasons to believe Kolko has been molesting children for decades and the hanhalah, Belsky and others have been protecting him for decades. The severed emotional limbs of his victims are all over the tracks and the community. What I write will have much less impact on the judge than what the prosecutor will have in his sentencing brief and what the defense is able to put in his sentencing brief.

      Why am I the only Jewish site to comment in advance. L’man Yishmahu V’yirahu (so they will hear and get scared) so those who are molesters learn to give up their ways; so those who cover up realize that it will stop; to provide chizuk to a brave talmid chacham and his son and family who fought to protect the children of others, and because U’biartem es haraah meikirbechah, to eradicate the evil in the midst of Lakewood.

      You should ask the leaders of Lakewood, starting with R. Malkiel and Aaron Kotler how they let the city of their grandfather turn into an ir hanidachas (city of refuge) for such mazikim (public hazards) like Yossi Kolko?

  5. I agree with your inference that the judge’s saying he will rule on Kolko’s motion to withdraw his plea on the date set for sentencing means that the motion has the proverbial chance of a snowball in hell. The judge obviously saw no reason he might grant it. But a plea bargain is a contract, and Kolko has done what he promised to do, i.e., plead guilty. That he unsuccessfully (presumably) sought to withdraw his plea doesn’t change that. If I buy a car, and then sue the dealer, claiming the dealer deceived me and demanding my money back, if I lose the suit I’m stuck with the car, but the dealer is also stuck with his warranty obligations. So although Kolko presumably lost whatever leniency he might have received for his supposed “acceptance of responsibility,” I don’t think he can be given more than the 15 year maximum sentence he bargained for, unless the judge calls off the deal, i.e., allows him to withdraw his plea. My bet is 10-12 years. We’ll see.

    • Kevin in Chicago,

      I agree, that if the plea bargain stands, its terms are in force, namely 5 to 15 years; However, I believe he has just pushed himself closer to the upper edge of that range. I suspect that the father of the victim would have been more inclined to urge the lower end if he was convinced that Kolko finally accepted responsibility. I believe in this case the court would have been very responsive to the father’s input because they appreciate that he can help make the case with others in Lakewood to cooperate with prosecutions in the future. From some sources I have concluded that they have handled the prosecution in ways designed to facilitate cooperation in future cases.

      • not fair, why cant kolko get 25-life, this monster belongs behind bars forever, he destroyed a little boy and the whole family!!! let him get what he deserves and someone should do to him in prison what he did to this little boy!!!

        • What can I say about sentencing length. He is probably going to get the going rate for a FIRST TIME OFFENDER. Of course we know he is likely not a first time offender. That is not the fault of the court system but of the Haredi community that covered up for him and discouraged others from reporting. If this was his second or third conviction you would be getting your wish for a longer sentence.

          I do have to disagree about the lat thing you set which suggest you want him raped in jail. I am moving toward feeling more clearly than ever that this a barbaric aspect of our jail system that must be ended. I know about midah keneged midah. However, the fact is that rape is something affecting many in jail including many who have not committed violent crimes. It is torture and an abuse of the tzelem elokim for this to keep on happening and a blemish on our society. So I say, jail yes, but not rape.

  6. The brief has to name names, so there is a fall guy somewhere. That info will come out Thursday as well. By the way, in New Jersey today there is a special election.The way I see it, a vote for Steve Lonegan is a vote for the S. family, and a vote for Booker is a vote for the K. way of life. Let your opinion be heard at the voting booth today. I already voted for Lonegan, fyi.

  7. Was that in reference to their initial court appearance or the subsequent one (which I believe was scheduled for yesterday)?

    • There is liman Yishmau viyirahu, toeles to protect other children, the aveirah of being mevazeh the talmid chochom, Rav S, shlita, lo saamod all dam reyachuh and many other chiyuvim and asurim. Not only, yesh raglayim lidovar, but other eidim.

      Moshe from lkwd, I am amazed to read such amararutzus for someone from an ihr hatorah. You must have spent too much time eating danishes and coffee instead of learning or going to the wrong rosh yeshiva shiurim instead of attending the chaburas of the real talmidei chachamim of Lakewood. Who is your chavrusah, Aaron Kotler or Bob Singer.

      Wake up. One day it could be a child dear to you who is molested. Wake up, Lakewood is full of adults, probably about 10-20% who were molested by people in their childhood who are now suffering. Wake up to the all the drugs and suicides and failed marriages and failed people in other ways some of whom ended up that way because they have not found a way to overcome the trauma of their abuse.

      • There in a nutshell is our problem. All children should be dear to all of us.

        We are surrounded by leaders who don’t feel a thing for the children who are abused or the suffering adults they become. (Which reminds me, time to clean out the leaders and gutters. Hmmmmm……)

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