Vote to Protect Kids in NYS

New York State law does a lousy job of protecting children. NYS’s Statute of Limitations prevents lawsuits or criminal prosecution of child sex abuse if the victim does not file complaints before their 23rd birthday.

The state legislature and governor passed on a chance to fix these laws yet again as they have for almost a decade, all because of an unholy alliance with the Catholic Church and Agudath Israel of America. Governor Cuomo is in on the deal.

The short term solution is replacing obstructionist legislators. Protect New York Kids is an organization focused on this problem. They have identified candidates committed to reforming child sex abuse legislation, donated to their campaigns and organized on their behalf. Check out their recommendations when you go to the polls on Tuesday.

 

 

Using and Abusing Forgiveness: Dina Friedman’s Survivor Reflections

Teshuva, mechila, repentence and forgiveness are things in which Jews believe. But when it comes to sex abuse, their meaning and measure has been mutilated and disfigured into meaningless parodies. A superficial claim of repentance is proferred and the victim is pressured to graciously accept it and go on as if all has been remedied.

I want to thank Dina Friedman for her fine essay chronicling her reactions over the years to the fake apology farce. She recounts her enlightenment  with snapshots of her mindset over successive High Holy Days.

Check out her posting: I don’t forgive the man who raped me. scales of justice and child

Sauna Rabbi Rosenblatt Is Hung Out to Dry

Jonathan Rosenblatt

Jonathan Rosenblatt

Following his forced retirement from the Riverdale Jewish Center, sauna-boy-gawker Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt started advertising himself doing “spiritual and psychological counseling” at Scarsdale Integrative Medicine (SIM).

His reputation caught up with him and SIM dropped him unceremoniously, even claiming he was never part of their operation, but merely someone renting space from them according to the Forward.

But, as my readers know, he was listed on their website as one of their staff back in May, whatever the financial arrangements.

It would not be fair to criticize SIM too much for this lapse in vetting and judgment. They did manage to dump the chump in about two months. Continue reading

There Are No Warnings when Sex Offenders Move From Israel but We Can Fix That

scales of justice and childSex offenders, like smugglers, take advantage of borders to avoid paying for their crimes. Sometimes they hop borders one step ahead of the cops. Israel, unfortunately is a popular destination for our miscreants.

But there is also a reverse flow where Israel’s flotsam washes up on America’s shores. Local communities are often clueless. This is true, even if there was a conviction in Israel because Israel does not have a public sex offender registry.

Let’s say Shlomo Shimon Ben-David gets convicted for molesting a neighbor’s child in Israel. He serves his time and then heads off to the United States. For good measure he starts using his middle name, Shimon, or perhaps, Simon, and becomes an accepted member of his new community and volunteers with a youth group. No one is the wiser about his past history.

Don’t start saying there ought to be a law to deal with the problem. There is a law: the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). If offenders move, start work, or start school in a new state they have to register within three days or can be sentenced to a year. SORNA’s regulations also apply to foreign convictions (IV-B).

Mr. Ben-David should register himself within 3 days of arriving in the the US. But he probably won’t register, even if he knows the law. He has nothing to fear. After all, how will the local jurisdiction even know he has an Israeli conviction. As far as I can tell, local registry enforcers don’t even try to deal with this problem.

Six months ago, on Feb. 8, 2016, President Obama signed a law designed to deal with some of those problems. The bill requires child sex offenders to notify their registry office of their plans to travel abroad. The US government is supposed to transmit  this information to foreign countries and where appropriate, to  INTERPOL. The law also requires the US State Department to mark offender’s passports with indications of their child sex offender status.

Under the International Megan’s Law (HR 4573; 113th Congress, 2nd session) the US government should Continue reading