Guest post by Eric Aiken, an advocate for Orthodox victims of child sexual abuse and owner of website:
Charges have been leveled at the Brooklyn, Rockland County and Ocean County district attorneys for years that they fail to vigorously investigate and prosecute cases of child sexual abuse in the Orthodox community. The claim is that this is due to the intense pressure put upon them by rabbis to cover up these rampant crimes. For years, advocates have suggested that rabbis who control the bloc vote of thousands of their followers demand that district attorneys bury child sexual abuse cases in return for their votes.
There was some hope a few years ago that when Brooklyn’s notorious former D.A., Charles Hynes, was replaced by Ken Thompson, that victims and their advocates would finally see the end to the cover-ups. Unfortunately, despite his campaign pledges, Thompson has proven to be no different than Hynes.
Please see my page “Corrupt Brooklyn D.A.” on my website, www.protectjewishkids.com . I explain in more detail about the extreme lengths the Brooklyn D.A goes to in order to prevent the public from discovering the identity of convicted Orthodox child molesters.
- To my knowledge, neither the Brooklyn, Rockland County or Ocean County, NJ district attorneys have ever prosecuted a single rabbi for protecting child molesters or encouraging others to threaten or bribe Orthodox victims not to testify against their abuser. In New Jersey, it is against the law for any adult who has even a suspicion (proof is not needed) that a child has been abused to conceal that information and not report it to child protective services.
- Many Orthodox victims assert that they were threatened not to testify against their Orthodox molester. Many victims refuse to testify after receiving these threats. This witness intimidation cannot occur without the tacit, if not explicit, approval of the rabbis that control Orthodox communities. With only two exceptions that I can find, no one involved in witness intimidation is ever prosecuted by the D.A.’s.
- To this day, I cannot track over a dozen cases of Orthodox child molesters in Brooklyn because Ken Thompson’s office seals these cases. The result of these disgraceful cover-ups by Thompson’s office is that parents, employers and advocates are prevented from even discovering the identity of convicted Orthodox child molesters.
- It’s not like the D.A.’s aren’t aware of these crimes. Both the Brooklyn and Rockland County D.A.’s have publicly acknowledged years ago that Orthodox victims of child sexual abuse are threatened not to testify against their Orthodox abusers, yet the D.A.’s do nothing to stop it.
Due to the endemic corruption of the local district attorney’s in Orthodox neighborhoods, particularly in New York and New Jersey, I strongly believe that the best way for Orthodox victims of child sexual abuse to get justice is to report their abuser to the sex crimes division of the FBI or the Department of Homeland Security (which also prosecutes child sex crimes).
It seems pointless for a victim to call 911 because those cases go straight to the local D.A.’s who bury the cases. The D.A.’s have proven over the course of decades that they will do nothing to protect victims from the onslaught of further abuse that victims regularly receive. Victims will be publicly shamed, humiliated and punished by their rabbis, friends, neighbors and Orthodox community members because victims tried to stop Orthodox child sex predators (frequently rabbis) from raping or molesting Orthodox kids.
In contrast to rabbis’ enormous control over the local D.A.’s, rabbis have much less sway over Federal agencies to try to get them to ignore Orthodox child sexual abuse cases. FBI agents and Special Agents in the Department of Homeland Security don’t depend on thousands of Orthodox votes to keep their jobs.
I spoke to a special investigator for the Department of Homeland Security sometime ago about reporting child sex crimes to a Federal agency. He told me that even if there is no obvious Federal crime involved when a child is sexually abused, i.e. crossing state lines, they can still investigate the case. He said that if they can get a search warrant, 9 times out of 10, they will find child pornography on the molester’s computer, which is a Federal crime that they can then prosecute.
In an investigation that I conducted last year, I looked at dozens of convictions of Orthodox child sex predators that were prosecuted by the Brooklyn D.A. and compared them to Federal convictions of Orthodox child molesters. The contrast was shocking.
Every Federal case resulted in jail time for the molester, usually for years. However, 50% of the convictions by the Brooklyn D.A. resulted in probation. Another 30% were sentenced to jail time of less than 2 years. With time off for good behavior, most of these child sex predators will only spend a few months in jail.
So victims who want justice need to carefully consider which law enforcement agency they want to prosecute their case. Local D.A.’s who will probably throw the case and give their molester probation or Federal prosecutors who have a track record of putting convicted Orthodox child molesters in jail.