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.
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?“)
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:
- Will Yosef Kolko Say, “My Uncle Yehudah Molested Me?”
- The RCA/OU Finally Responds to Kolko Conviction- Not With a Bang but a Whimper!
- Rav Yisroel Belsky Psak on the Kolko Puffs Cereal Factory (SATIRE)
- Belsky is 0 for 2 on the Kolkos and Yet He’s the OU’s Posek
- Zaakah’s Outcry Against Rabbinical Mishandling of Kolko Case
- Yosef Kolko Trial- Day 3 (Surprise Guilty Plea/ 2 Additional Witnesses)
- Why the Lakewood Establishment is Scared of the Kolko Trial
- QOTD about Rabbi Yosef Kolko and Social Worker Gavriel Fagin
- PARODY- Vito Gambino Agrees with the RCA