How Much Perjury at the Trial of Moshe Menachem Taubenfeld?

Testifying for the defense, Mr. Pachtman, principal of the boy’s Yeshiva in New Square stated that his school complies with NYS’s laws about reporting sex abuse. That should have set off guffawing in the courtroom among those who knew the culture of Skver. Skver, like other Hasidic groups does not believe in mesirah (snitching) to outside authorities in ways that could get one of their members criminally charged.

Yet defenders of Taubenfeld speak of how the testimony of the defense witnesses disproved the abuse claims of Laiby Stern.

I wonder how many other defense witnesses perjured themselves. Moreover, I get the sense that the Taubenfeld defenders were not bothered by that perjury because they have no respect for the right of civil authorities to judge or punish them. So when they claim that the trial proved his innocence, I am inclined to believe they say it because that is the outcome they want, not because they objectively weighed the evidence or the likelihood of perjury by defense witnesses.


8 thoughts on “How Much Perjury at the Trial of Moshe Menachem Taubenfeld?

  1. Yerachmiel, it’s (obviously) up to you whether or not to post this comment but I feel the need to say it. I had always respected you as an important voice for the victims of child abuse. I read all your posts and I was convinced that you were doing a huge service to klal Yisroel. In times past I would have been convinced by your writing that taubenfeld was in fact guilty. Unfortunately, because of my first-hand knowledge of the people and events in Rav Bodenheimer’s case and after following your coverage if that story, I have come to realize that truth is not important to you. According, I (and I suspect many others) are no longer able to consider you an authority on these issues. It’s sad – but it’s true!

    • Every single molester has friends and admirers. Most of them do not show a hint of their perverse side in their everyday dealings. Not a hint. It is very hard to let go of one’s friendship or community perceptions and deal with the facts. Bodenheimer had a fully funded legal defense, out on bail while awaiting trial, facing only a single accuser. Yet he chose to plead guilty, forfeit his career in chinuch, and have to divest himself of his school.

      I am suspending judgement on whether the strength of evidence at the Taubenfeld trial merited a conclusion of guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” However I have no doubt that there was perjury by the defense and the instance I cited was not the only one. Moreover, I believe many of the Taubenfeld supporters from Skver attending the trial could spot some of the perjury from 40 ammos even if secular outsiders could not. That makes me question their claims that the defense witnesses disproved the allegations.

      I am always amused when people I never knew supported my efforts show up to withdraw their non-existent support. Those who have supported my efforts continue to support me convinced I am an honest person trying to fairly confront the problems of sex abuse in the frum world. If my supporters start questioning my overall agenda, I will worry. But about you, I won’t worry.

      • Bodenheimer only plead guilty because he was facing 25 years. In a he said she said case why risk going to jury. Anything can happen. He took a plea to a charge that does not really force him to give up his career. If you read to sentencing guidelines his probation officers can (and will) allow him into the school. Plus everyone knows he’s incident so the guilty plea does not change his status
        Also what is the burden of proof according to you? Someone was found not guilty in a court of law and your still saying there guilty? You can’t have it both ways. If bodenheimer is guilty because he took a plea then tauberfeld is incident because he did not

        • You are also having it both ways. Taubenfeld’s not guilty pleas proves he is innocent but Bodenheimer’s guilty plea means nothing. I am saying that I accept that Taubenfeld may have been entitled to a not guilty verdict because the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That is always hard in a sex abuse case that is years old and without any physical evidence. It is a pretty much dependent on the effectiveness of the witness in court. Telling the truth matters but so to does verbal skill and the ability to make a good impression. However, I am so saying I saw obvious perjury by a defense witness. If you care about justice, this should bother you. If all you care about is getting Taubenfeld off, I can understand why you are switching the topic.

  2. Just FYI (although irrelevant one way or another) the prosecutor was only allowed to ask him if HE would report (not the community and not the school), to what he answered in the affirmative.

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