Taubenfeld Trial Closing Statements Scheduled for this Afternoon at 2

Moshe Menachem Taubenfeld’s defense completed its presentation of evidence yesterday afternoon.

Moshe Menachem Taubenfeld

Moshe Menachem Taubenfeld

Closing statements are scheduled to start in the Rockland court-house this Friday afternoon (7/24/15) at 2:00 p.m. The Judge, Rolf M Thorsen, said yesterday, that he will announce a date for verdict at the end of today’s session. [update- the verdict will be announced on Thursday, July 30 @ 3:00 p.m.] Taubenfeld waived his right to a jury so the judge alone will determine the verdict.

His reasons for waiving a jury are the subject of much speculation. His defenders claim that a Rockland jury would be biased against a Hasid in the current climate of county tensions between orthodox residents and others over the practices of the Hasidic dominated East Ramapo School Board.

Skeptics, and there are many, suspect undue influence on the judge by some parties in Taubenfeld’s New Square village, the home of the Skver community. The community has a disciplined block vote almost completely swayed by the decisions of Grand Rabbi (Rebbe) Dovid Twersky. During the 2000 US Senate race, the Rebbe endorsed Hillary Clinton and she carried New Square by 1,400 to 12! In most other orthodox communities, the vote favored her Republican opponent, Rick Lazio. President Clinton then shocked folks by pardoning four Skver fraudsters on his last day in office.

While Judge Thorsen’s term runs to 2024, some professionals in court-house circles say he is hoping to run for a higher judicial position. If so, Skver’s campaign contributions and votes could be influential. Yet others just take it for granted that Skver will yet work its magic through an outright bribe.

Herschel Taubenfeld

Herschel Taubenfeld

Everyone remembers the sweetheart deal of the defendant’s brother, Herschel Taubenfeld. He was originally charged with 10 counts of forcible touching, 10 counts of endangering the welfare of a child and 10 counts of third-degree sex abuse. He got off with a single misdemeanor count of forcible touching and no jail time, just probation. Skver continued to employ him as a teacher in their school.

The Skver community feels strongly that none of its members should ever be subjected to imprisonment by civil authorities. To date, no New Square resident has ever served a prison sentence for sexual abuse in spite of many documented cases. One can only hope for a different outcome this time.

Some refer to Taubenfeld as the Rebbe’s right hand man. That is an exaggeration. But he is a well respected teacher of both children and grooms preparing for marriage and comes from one of the higher status families in the community. His students like him. He is friendly and approachable (and seems to know how to have his way). In Skver, allegations of sex abuse are all squashed or denied, so these criminal charges will probably not dent his status.

Observers are also suspicious of the office of Rockland District Attorney Thomas Zugibe. When police first sought Taubenfeld he was hard to find through official records because he was using an alias, Mendel Zarkowsky, to vote and for other official purposes. Yet his birth name is Moshe Menachem Taubenfeld and he has used that name continuously in his community for his entire life. A 2003 NY Post story about the murder of his first wife in a suicide bombing also used the Taubenfeld name. One has to wonder why the DA never prosecuted him for likely voter fraud, tax fraud, or government benefits fraud.

Laiby Stern, the alleged victim who chose to go public with his name, was supported in his brave pursuit of justice by a number of anti-abuse activists and rabbis. According to his testimony they include R. Nuchem Rosenberg, Rabbi Moshe Soloveitchik of Chicago as well as his brothers. Boorey Deutsch was especially active in rallying supporters to attend the trial.

No good deed goes unpunished and the Skver community and its supporters have used Twitter, FaceBook, and a new website to attack me, Boorey, Failed Messiah’s Shmarya Rosenberg and Paul (Feivie) Mendlowitz who blogs as the Unorthodox Jew. Our supposed sin is vile anti-Semitism. Our actual sin is using blogs and social media to support the prosecution of Taubenfeld and other sex offenders. These attacks have come through a new website, Eiruv Rav, which attempts to portray us as modern day propagators of hate on par with the Nazi newspaper, Der Stürmer. Eiruv Rav also Tweets and they get retweeted by The Block the Hate twitter account.

To stay up on developments in this case follow Tweets with the tag #TaubenfeldTrial.


9 thoughts on “Taubenfeld Trial Closing Statements Scheduled for this Afternoon at 2

  1. hoping that he will get the time he deserves, although I think he will get his way out (as usual with this animals)

  2. I hope he is found guilty. However without other victims coming forward it is still a uphill battle for the plaintiff. I am sure there are other victims but this is Skver so… Who dares

  3. Please cite source for the following statememt:
    “Most child sex abuse convictions are obtained with only one complainant”.

    • It is my impression from attending to a number of news stories each day for the six years I’ve blogged on this issue. there is media bias in which cases are covered of course, but if anything, the bias is towards reporting offenders with multiple victims. Yet most stories going to trial involve only one complainant.

  4. I’m not all familiar with this particular case, but in general, in these kinds of cases, there are additional important determinants

    one kind of corroboration – victim told X about the abuse at the time, and X corroborates in court

    another kind of corroboration – Witness X corroborates in court that victim looked upset , or victim looked disheveled upon leaving defendant’s home, 1 time or multiple times ( Note: Witness X corroborates in court that victim entered defendant’s home, and left after some time period, 1 time or multiple times, that is legally meaningless, since defense could concur )

    any kind of supporting physical evidence

    Is there any expert testimony in this case at all?

    Absent any of the above, and only 1 complainant , very tough to say

    • Yes, several of his brothers were told about it and some rabbis starting about ten years ago. there was also confirmation that he was regularly in thee house despite initial denials by taubenfeld.

  5. Just rereading the entire post. I’m wondering what happened to the 12 people in 2000 who didn’t vote for Hillary. Are their houses still standing? were they run out of town?

  6. Lies. Lies. Lies.
    First of all there has been a sex offender from New Square that already served jail time. See: Yisuchar Kohn.

    Where you in court? I watched the whole trial, which “few” brothers corroborated? There was “one” brother, who’s testimony was bizarre. Saying “dont know” out “next question please” on almost every question, having the judge force him to answer questions. It came out that his child was taken away from him with ” no visitation rights “. That’s what the so called brother of victim is all about. He screamed in court that he hates new square and his motive was just so obvious.

    Otherwise there was no corroborations whatsoever. There were four witness of the defense all saying clear that Taubenfeld knew the boy, and the defense didn’t try claiming otherwise. There was a surprise moment in the court room when the prosecuter said that he wants to bring witness that Mr. Taubenfeld know the boy, and the defense attorney said they’re is no need to prove that as we agree to that. It was the prosecution that has that assumption that the defense will claim that. And you were misled by that.
    Regarding Rabbi Taubenfelds denial, you weren’t in court to watch the video. I was. He Never denied knowing the sterns. He denied molesting or touching any kid in his life. He was grilled for two and a half hours by the detective and no admission or corroboration came out of his mouth.
    The prosecution tried claiming that the fact that when asked if he knew s family stern he answered they’re are many sterns in New Square is an admission of guilt. How stupid.
    Are you aware that the kid said that the room was an office, and the defence presented pictures that it was a bedroom for most of the years. Are you aware that the kid said that the door had NO lock, and it was supported with pictures of the defense? Are you aware that the child described the room more from the outside than the inside? Anyone sitting in the courtroom knew one thing clear: this child maybe visited the residence 2-3 times to play as a child and therefore knows a bit. Impossible he was in that house daily for five years.
    Did you hear how the kid testified that it happened in middle of the Purim meal with 15 family members around the table, and he took him to the next room without a lock… Come on…..
    And besides the fact that the agenda was soooooo obvious. How he hated new square, he fought with his parents to leave etc. etc.

    Let me see you having the guts to approve this post.

    P.S. There’s way more to write on the craziness of this kids story. I.E. yom kippur, getting 12,000 dollars at age 10 without parental knowledge and much more. I will elaborate if anyone still needs more. I didn’t meet one person that came to court without an agenda that thought that this story is true. I spoke to several onlookers who came to observe, not knowing nothing and coming objectively. NOONE thought this man is guilty.

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