Brooklyn DA Kenneth Thompson is pouring sweet deals for Hasidic offenders faster than a syrup dispenser in a busy pancake house. First there was Meilech Schnitzler who avoided jail in spite of a premeditated bleach assault on Rabbi Nochum Rosenberg. Then there was the almost deal of no jail for Jerry Brauner. Then there was yesterday’s probation deal for Yoel Malik. This morning there is an appearance by Boruch Lebovits. There is always an excuse and a good reason. I am willing to concede that sometimes there are good reasons the DA cannot get a better deal.
But there is no excuse for the DA’s failure to prosecute all the culprits who screwed up the Lebovits prosecution starting with ADA Miss Gregory, head of Crimes against Children, who screwed up the original trial by leaving grounds for an appeal , and then let a team of people run a wrongful prosecution on Samuel Kellner, dropped the charges involving other witnesses against Lebovits, failed to follow-up leads, and has just sat around hoping the case would magically disappear with a sweetheart deal. There is Nick Batsides who happily took a trumped up case against Samuel Kellner handed to him by Arthur Aidala, Alan Dershowitz, Michael Vecchione and Mayer Lebovits. There is Joe Alexis, Batsides’ supervisor, who managed not to notice anything for a long time, but timed his defiance of his corrupt boss Vecchione for the days after Thompson won. Joe was recently promoted to head up Red Zone. There are the brothers Ashkenazi who were never prosecuted for their role in perjury at a trial, and manipulating witnesses. There are attorneys John Lonuzzi and Michael Ross who were the legal shils in buying off witnesses. Thompson’s new team is not culpable for any of those original crimes, but they are beginning to look like piano players in a whore house.
Good people in Brooklyn are putting themselves on the line to help protect our kids and deliver some justice. The DA is hobnobbing with the wrong guys. I am not saying he is taking cash bribes or orders. However, his record is becoming less attractive every day.
The DA managed the improbable when he got five Shomrim indicted for the brutal attack on Taj Patterson. He deserves a lot of credit for that. But given all his other failures, the suspicion is growing that he is better at prosecuting BlackHat-on-Black crime than BlackHat-on-BlackHat crime. I am not saying that is his plan; but that is becoming his record.
It took Hynes years to acquire this bad a reputation on orthodox sex abuse. But back then the orthodox community did the dirty work of preventing victims from coming forward. Now, we have brave men and women, boys and girls, who are stepping up to the plate. The DA owes them more.