Sunday July 3, 2022 8pm (US-EST)
I witnessed a miracle today. You know how hard it is to get the New York State bureaucracy to move, let alone move quickly. This is especially true on a weekend, and even more so on the Sunday of a July 4th Weekend.
Yet in less than a day after the rasha, serial child rapist Rabbi Baruch (Mordechai) Lebovits, died over shabbos, the NYS sex offender registry make a records change for him. They removed his listing as someone convicted of 8 felony counts of deviate sexual intercourse with a minor. The listing which I screenshot at noon today was gone by 3 pm.
Hella Winston of the Jewish Week just broke the story that DA-elect Kenneth Thompson has asked Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes to defer any plea bargain for Baruch (Mordechai) Lebovits until Thompson assumes office on January 1, 2014. This comes on the heels of a public letter submitted by concerned individuals in the community addressed to Judge Mark Dwyer requesting he reject any plea bargain for Lebovits pending satisfactory answers to questions about poor handling of the prosecution of Lebovits by the current office of the Kings County District Attorney.
Mr Thompson was aware of the letter and that may very well have tipped him toward this action. Mr. Thompson is also sending a copy of the letter to presiding Judge Mark Dwyer.
Since I began writing the article, it appears Hynes has Continue reading
On Tuesday, November 19, at 9:30 a. m., Baruch (Mordechai) Lebovits is due for another court appearance in connection with charges he molested a boy. He was convicted once, sentenced to 10-32 years and began serving his sentence but then got his conviction (but not his indictment) overturned on appeal. For almost two years the Brooklyn District Attorney, under the failed leadership of outgoing DA, Charles (Joe) Hynes, has kept the case in a holding pattern. But now, they seem intent on giving him a plea bargain for time served of a little over a year.
A number of us have signed onto a letter to the Honorable Judge Mark Dwyer addressing irregularities in the prosecution’s conduct in the hope of getting the judge to reject any such plea bargain.The letter and its many signers will probably be released later today, after it is delivered to the judge’s chambers.
I urge each and every one of you to try and be there to show solidarity with the victims of abuse by Lebovits.
In the meantime, I wanted to share the views of one of my colleagues, a legal expert, who drafted his thoughts for consideration by Judge Dwyer.
Facing retrial, Lebovits has a second opportunity to enter into a plea agreement. To be frank, we fear that Office of the Kings County District Attorney (KCDA) will seek approval of a plea requiring Lebovits to spend little or no additional time in prison. Given the facts and history of this case, such a disposition would be a miscarriage of justice. Given the history of the KCDA’s prosecution of sexual abusers in the Orthodox community, it would be a betrayal of other victims and their families, even if the victim in this case consents to the plea. We ask your Honor to send the crucial message to victims and witnesses that if they come forward seeking justice and enforcement of the law, the sacrifices they will have to make will not be in vain.
We understand a plea agreement represents a compromise
Baruch Mordechai Lebovits
In Hasidic circles, Baruch Lebovits is believed to be a serial, child, sexual predator. Yet people marvel at his ability to elude justice. After being convicted in a spectacularly revealing trial he managed to get the verdict overturned because of serious mistakes by the Office of the Kings County District Attorney. Some in the Hasidic community suspect the mistakes were intentional and made in deference to Hynes’ buddy Arthur Aidala who was Lebovits’ attorney.
Charles Hynes photo by Patrick Cashin / Metropolitan Transportation Authority, 2012
Now there is a new wrinkle as Lebovits faces a retrial. Lebovits has entered into an agreement with the victim/accuser in the first trial through attorney Michael Roth. While not technically conceding guilt, the agreement compensates the victim in return for dropping any threat of a civil trial. On paper it is kosher. The agreement clearly leaves the victim free to testify against Lebovits. In theory this is dandy. The jury gets told that there was a settlement. Even though the agreement does not concede guilt, this sort of thing makes the jury think there is definitely smoke, in fact somewhere over a half a million dollars of smoke. Moreover, the jury gets told that the settlement has been paid in full.
However, this is not really a free lunch. The money is not in the hands of the accuser; it is in escrow Continue reading
Vos Iz Neias first reported that Baruch Mordechai Lebovits was released on bail pending an appeal of his 2010 conviction for molesting a boy. The appeal grew out of the Kings County District Attorney’s arrest of Samuel (Shmuel) Kellner on charges of extorting the Lebovits family by threatening to generate or withhold witnesses of molesting dependingAson whether they family paid up. The DA insists the extortion charges involved witnesses other than the one whose testimony got Lebovits convicted. It seems his appeal team of Arthur Aidala and Alan Dershowitz are appealing on the grounds that there is a relationship. I have not seen the appeal but I am surmising that based on the timing.
As I reported, yesterday, as of Saturday, Lebovits was still in his upstate prison facility. However, I have confirmed that the appellate court is considering an appeal and is allowing Lebovits to get out on $250,000 cash bash or $500,000 bail bond. Additional conditions include electronic monitoring, being confined to his house and surrendering his passport. Continue reading