Brooklyn Prosecutors Confirm Forward’s Reports of Arrests

Brooklyn prosecutors say authorities  have arrested 85 people in the Orthodox Jewish community on child sex abuse  charges in the past three years, the New York Post reported Sunday, confirming  earlier reports in the Forward.

Prosecutors in the office of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes told  the Post that 38 of the sex cases had been closed so far, with 14 convictions.  The suspects got jail time ranging from a month to up to 20 years for crimes  that included sex abuse, attempted kidnapping, and sodomy, the paper said.

Twenty-four suspects were freed after the cases against them fell apart, the  report said.

The rest of the cases are still pending under a controversial program called  Kol Tzedek, or Voice of Justice, which  aims to coax victims in the insular  community to come forward about abuse.

Hynes’s office did not immediately respond for a request for comment  Sunday.

Among those accused is Andrew Goodman, 27, who worked for Ohel and other  Jewish social-service agencies. The Post says he is charged with sexually  abusing two Orthodox boys for years in Flatbush, and filming sex acts dating  back to 2006, according to the 144-count indictment, which alleges numerous  violations since 2006.

Goodman has pleaded not guilty.

The Forward first broke the news weeks ago that nearly  90 Orthodox men had been arrested on child abuse charges. At that time,  prosecutors refused to furnish any additional information about the cases, but  suggested they would do so by the end of November.

Among the cases reported by the Forward was that of Boro  Park Rabbi Baruch Lebovits,who was sentenced last year to up to 32 years in  prison after being convicted of sex abuse.

Victims’ rights advocates hailed it as a turning point in the battle against  sexual abuse in the insular Orthodox community. But Lebovits is now free on bail  and his conviction is now unraveling amid allegations of perjury, conspiracy and  extortion.

Just last week, Hynes’ spokesman Jerry  Schmetterer refused to return calls from the Forward asking for more  information about the cases.

Read more: http://www.forward.com/articles/147702/#ixzz1gKkyqqdP

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