Busting Some Myths About The Child Victims Act

By Asher Lovy from his blog, Hareini This is a great read if you want to educate yourself about SOL reform or want talking points to use with others– Yerachmiel Lopin

Agudath Yisrael of America, the Catholic Church, and Boy Scouts of America have been fighting fiercely against efforts to eliminate the criminal and civil statutes of limitations for child sexual abuse, and open a one year retroactive window for civil cases that have exceeded their statute of limitation, because they each know full well that for decades they’ve been responsible for the abuse of countless children, and the coverup of those crimes. It should be noted that an institution is only civilly liable for abuse that happens within the institution if they were complicit in covering it up, or were alerted to abuse and failed to act appropriately.
That means, contrary to what Agudath Israel of Americathe Catholic Church, and Boy Scouts of America want you to believe, that if abuse happened in an institution, and the teacher was suspended or fired pending a police investigation following an immediate report to authorities, the institution is not at all liable. Institutions are only liable if they were complicit in covering it up.

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Agudah Follows the Romans For the Same Dirty Reasons

Zweibel and Cardinal

David Zweibel of Agudah and Cardinal Dolan

Only two important groups stand in the way of strengthening legislation against child sex abusers in New York State: the Roman Catholic Church and its pipsqueak partner, Agudath Israel of America (aka Agudah).

Both groups decry sexual immorality, preach protection of the weak, and rhapsodize about their children. Yet they both have long, ugly histories of helping their molesters escape prosecution and financial reparations.

In 2010, Governor Andrew Cuomo badly wanted to legalize gay marriage in NYS. As always, the obstacle was the lobbying of the RCC and Agudah. So he cut a deal with them. They would denounce the act but not pressure legislators. In return they got his off-the-record promise not to extend the statute of limitations for child sex abuse. Instead, NYS would continue to have one of the shortest SOL’s in the US, requiring survivors to file criminal and civil complaints before their 23rd birthday. Continue reading

Join the Protest Against Agudath Israel’s Protection of Child Sex Abusers on Sun. 6/25 @ 3 p.m. in Midwood, Brooklyn.

This event, which I heartily endorse, was announced on the Hareini blog of frum anti-abuse activist, Asher Lovy. It is sponsored by Zaakah, the group that organized the protest against the pidyon shvuyim fund raiser for now-convicted child rapist, Rabbi Nechemya Weberman.

Agudath Israel of America (aka Agudah) continues to deter reporting orthodox sex abusers by misrepresenting the halacha and claiming one must always consult with a rabbi before reporting child sex abuse to the police. In an unholy alliance with the Catholic Church they lobby state governments to make it hard to prosecute and sue abusers. In his post, Protest Agudah’s Abuse Enabling and Opposition to SOL Reform,” Asher lays out the case against Agudah.

Novominsker Rebbe

Novominsker Rebbe – Yaakov Perlow

I have often written about Agudah’s disgusting culpability in protecting those who desecrate our children with its horrendous effects on child victims, and adult survivors. In fact, I stumbled into blogging because I was angry enough to write a trenchant satire of an imaginary Agudah speech on abuse (Moetzes Gedolim Speak About Znus Affecting Children) This was back in 2009. Since then they have actually openly spoken about abuse. While their speeches have not been as funny, they have been as evasive and destructive. See for example the most recent speeches by the head of their moetzes (Council of Torah Sages), the Novominsker Rebbe, Yaakov Perlow. Continue reading

Cuomo’s Rapidly Changing Stance on SOL Reform

scales of justice and childThis morning’s (5/19/16) New York Daily News ran a headline, “Gov. Cuomo will push law allowing child-abuse victims to seek justice as adults.” The URL tells a different story about his position when they first created the article: “http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/gov-cuomo-pushes-liquor-law-reform-ignores-child-sex-abuse-vics-article-1.2641982.” Its seems the spirits have moved the governor to a new public stance. Continue reading

Rabbi Blau on Why the SOL Should Be Extended -From the Archives

First posted on 3/8/13

Text of Statement to Hearings of the New York State Assembly, Committee on Sexual Abuse, March 8, 2013 by Rabbi Yosef Blau, mashgiach ruchani (spiritual adviser) at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) of Yeshiva University. The Committee hearing were devoted to the Child Sex Abuse Act (CSA) to extend the Statute of Limitations for filing criminal and civil cases beyond the current limit of age 23. The CSA is also know as the Markey Bill after its sponsor, Assemblywoman Margaret Markey. 

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak on behalf of survivors of abuse who suffer from the present statute of limitation; this statute prevents them from starting criminal and civil proceedings against their abuser and those who covered up and protected him.

My name is Rabbi Yosef Blau. For more than two decades I have been supporting and advocating for survivors of abuse, particularly within the Orthodox Jewish community.  During these years my understanding of the trauma and its ongoing consequences has grown from conversations with the survivors and reading the literature.  Most of the people who have contacted me are adults who are first confronting abuse that occurred during their childhood.

Twenty three and a half years ago I was part of a rabbinical court that dealt with an accusation of slander.  A young man accused a rabbi [Boruch Lanner], who worked as an educator and youth leader, of sexually abusing teenagers; that rabbi sued the young man.  Naively we restricted testimony to events that had taken place during the last ten years.  Few victims came forward and they found it difficult to testify.  Soon after, I received a number of letters from survivors clearly describing acts of abuse done to them by this rabbi fifteen and twenty years earlier.  Only as adults, having had extensive therapy and in many cases a supportive spouse, were they able to openly confront their abuser.  When they were adolescents he seemed all-powerful. Continue reading

Yom Hadin: Judgment Day in Australia for Malka Leifer’s Sex Abuse

Malka Leifer

Malka Leifer

In 2008 the management of the Adass Israel School (AIS) in Melbourne, Australia learned its principal, Mrs. Malka Leifer, was sexually abusing teen girls including manually penetrating them. Fearful of the police, they convened a group including Rabbi Zvi Telsner of the Chabad Yeshivah Centre and decided to cover up the crimes and whisk Mrs. Leifer out of Australia. Within days, they paid some $ (AU) 8,000 to ship her and her family off to Israel. There she remains, fighting off Australia’s request to extradite her to face criminal charges.

While the extradition demand wound its way through the Israeli courts, a victim sued AIS. Just after Rosh Hashanah the court awarded the victim  $(AU) 1,024,428 ($US 734,310 ). This includes “exemplary damages” (aka punitive damages) of $(AU) 100,000.

Expensive judgments are the looming nightmare of institutions that cover up sex abuse, as well they should be. By rights they should have prevented or stopped abuse. When they fired an abuser they should have made sure s/he did not move on to another job. They should have protected other children by reporting an abuser to the authorities. Continue reading

New Jersey Is Our Friend- from the archives

If it's to Jersey, It's Federal!

If it’s to Jersey, It’s Federal!

(First posted 9/12/12)

I have said many insulting things about New Jersey over the years. I take them all back. When a menuval from Brooklyn takes a child to or through New Jersey to sexually abuse him or her it becomes an interstate crime and therefore a federal crime. Now the victim can approach the FBI and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) will prosecute the case. All of us in the advocacy community are impressed by the Feds’ honesty and competence in investigating and prosecuting cases. Thanks to the Feds, Yisroel Moshe Weingarten will probably be taken away from jail by the chevrah kadishah (burial society).

The feds also came to the rescue after a lenient sentence for former Ohel Children’s Home employee Andrew Goodman. According to the New York Post

A Brooklyn child molester who was recently given a two-year prison sentence by a judge in a shocking sweetheart deal was smacked today with federal charges that could lock him up for life.

Unrepentant perv Andrew Goodman — who creepily told his trembling teen-age victim “I love you” at his July 12 sentencing before state Supreme Court Justice Martin Murphy — was charged by the feds with having sex with the same boy in a New Jersey hotel room in 2010, then taking him to a Kid Rock concert in Atlantic City. Continue reading