Baruch Lebovits got out of jail yesterday (9/29/14), just 83 days after he started his most recent stint after sentencing on a plea bargain (7/9/14). He pled guilty to eight E felony counts (PL 130.40.2) of oral sex with a minor (aka “deviate sexual intercourse”) and he is on the sex offender registry.
Brooklyn DA Kenneth Thompson crafted this insult to orthodox Jewish survivors in the spring, but now we feel the final sting of his whip. Lebovits’ fine cantorial voice will piously intone about repentance on Yom Kippur while he remains an unrepentant sinner. He never even apologized to the victim who pressed charges, let alone the hundreds of other boys he sexually exploited.
Anyone with a rudimentary Jewish upbringing knows that Yom Kippur does not absolve one for sins against another unless one first confesses, experiences regret, attempts rectification of harm, and sincerely seeks forgiveness. Lebovits has done none of these things, except as required to get a good plea deal in a secular lower court.
The unanswered question is why he served slightly more than 15 of the 24 months of his sentence through a combination of 1 year and 6 days after his overturned 2010 conviction and then just 83 days following his re-conviction this spring. Thus he has served a total of one year and 89 days. Mind you, when he was first convicted in 2010 he was sentenced to 10-32 years.
Notwithstanding claims by his defenders, his time spent on house arrest does not count. If it did, he would not have served any time at all because he also spent over a year on house arrest in addition to his year in an upstate correctional facility. Thus he would have already served his entire two-year sentence. Perhaps the Brooklyn DA and the NYS Corrections department would care to explain how he got such a good deal on a determinate sentence of two years.
I will post shortly on the full, ugly trajectory of the Lebovits case. In the meantime I can only say that this Yom Kippur will yet again sorely test our faith in the earthly justice of the Brooklyn District Attorney.
Click here for all the many other Frum Follies posts about Baruch Lebovits.
Update 10/25/14, 10:25 am: Quote from NY Daily News:
A lawyer for Kellner said his client believes “it’s only a matter of time until he abuses another child.” The lawyer, Niall MacGiollabhui, added that his client is worried about the release of a “serial rapist … without any supervision.”
Note: the Daily News is wrong. He did not serve 13 months originally. Just 12 months and six days from his sentencing date on April 12, 2010 till his first release to house arrest on April 17, 2011. Thus he served a total of one year
The Daily News also ended on a false sentimental note: “Lebovits will be home in time for Yom Kippur or the Jewish Day of Atonement, when it is customary to repent for one’s sin.” News writer Oren Yaniv used the singular, “sin.” It is well know that Lebovits has hundreds of victims, and quite a few of them were victimized repeatedly. Even if Lebovits wanted to repent, he couldn’t possibly locate and apologize to all of them between now and Yom Kippur which falls just four days from his release. But then, Lebovits still denies his guilt. Yaniv wrote, “The family said in a statement. ‘The charges and proceedings in the case were trumped up by individuals for their own monetary gains.'” Yaniv, who has always been a shil for the Lebovits camp didn’t bother to consider or report the claims that it is Lebovits who used bribery, victim intimidation, and corruption of the prosecutorial process to get off easy.