T.O.T Reports – Crusaders Fighting Sexual Abuse in Israel

Rabbi Daniel Greer, What Have you Been Up To?

Greer

RABBI ACCUSED OF RAPING STUDENT ORDERED TO TESTIFY AT TRIAL

 

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A rabbi accused of repeatedly raping and molesting a teenage boy has been ordered to testify at a civil trial after invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during a deposition.

Jury selection for Rabbi Daniel Greer’s trial in federal court in Hartford is scheduled to start Wednesday. Jurors could begin hearing evidence later in the day or Thursday.

Greer, 76, remains the principal at the Yeshiva of New Haven school. A former student at the Jewish boarding school, Eliyahu “Eli” Mirlis, now 29, is suing Greer and the school on allegations of sexual assault, infliction of emotional distress and other claims.

Mirlis, who attended the school from 2001 to 2005, also alleges in the lawsuit that Greer sexually abused at least one other male student. The Associated Press generally does not name people who allege sexual assault, but Mirlis wanted to come forward, his lawyer said.

Greer has denied the allegations and has not been criminally charged. New Haven police say they’re looking into a sexual assault complaint filed by Mirlis’ lawyer, Antonio Ponvert III.

Greer and his lawyers, David Grudberg and William Ward, did not return phone and email messages seeking comment.

According to court documents, Greer invoked his right against self-incrimination at a deposition last year. His lawyers asked a judge to bar Mirlis from calling Greer to the witness stand, but the request was denied.

“Parading Mr. Greer before the jury to repeatedly invoke the Fifth Amendment privilege will only serve to paint him as ‘a criminal who has probably eluded justice’ in the eyes of the finders of fact, which will cause significant and irreparable prejudice in this case,” Grudberg and Ward wrote in a motion filed last month, adding that Greer also would invoke his Fifth Amendment right if called to testify.

Although Judge Michael P. Shea denied the request this month, he said Greer’s lawyers could object to specific questions to prevent Greer from having to repeatedly take the Fifth on the stand.

Ward has questioned why Mirlis came forward with the allegations years later and did not take the matter before a rabbinical arbitration court. He said the allegations have damaged Greer, his family and the good reputation he spent years building in the community.

Greer is a graduate of Princeton and Yale Law School who has testified before the state legislature several times on a variety of issues, including opposing same-sex unions in 2002 before the state approved same-sex marriage. He also is a former member of the New Haven police commissioners’ board and a past chairman of the New Haven Redevelopment Agency.

He also led efforts to improve New Haven’s Edgewood neighborhood.

Greer’s daughter was among a group of Orthodox Jewish students who sued Yale University in the late 1990s, claiming the school’s requirement that they live in coed dorms violated their constitutional rights. A federal judge disagreed and dismissed the lawsuit.

http://staging.hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_RABBI_SEX_ABUSE_LAWSUIT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-05-09-10-10-24

Rabbi Menachem Chinn, Charged With Sexual Assault of a Child

 

Evil in Oz – Rabbi Chaim Tsvi Groner – Chabad Flippant Response

CHILD VICTIMS ACT – Legislation and Justice – SIGNATURE REQUESTED

Houses of worship and a person’s experience of their faith should be free of sexual abuse.

Shockingly, when victims of child sex abuse by religious leaders and other perpetrators come forward to seek justice and stop abusers from causing more harm, they are blocked by current New York State law. New York ranks among the very worst in the nation — alongside Alabama, Michigan and Mississippi — for how the courts and criminal justice system treat survivors of child sex abuse.
Mental health experts know it can take decades for a victim of this abuse to overcome the fear, shame, and trauma to be able to come forward to confront their abuser, but our current law allows survivors of abuse to pursue criminal or civil justice only until the age of 23 — a statute of limitations of, in some cases, only five years.
A bill called the Child Victims Act can change that at the upcoming session. It will extend or eliminate the statute of limitations so victims come forward and perpetrators can be prosecuted, helping victims get justice and taking unknown abusers off the streets. April and May are critical months for clergy to demand that officials introduce and vote for the bill.

Add your name to demand action here

Right now, many Republican members of the New York legislature are opposing the bill. Some religious institutions are pressuring legislators to reject the bill because it could mean holding them accountable. Religious groups and others are threatening to thwart the re-election of members if they pass the bill.
Clergy for Child Victims is mobilizing faith leaders to sign this petition to the governor letting the governor, state assembly, and state senate know that we stand behind the governor’s support of the bill. On May 9, a group of clergy will make a lobbying trip to Albany to try and get new legislation passed before budget negotiations start.

Sign and share with your colleagues here

As an influential faith leader in New York, I urge you to sign the letter to demonstrate widespread support from multi-religious faith leaders.
Thank you for supporting this crucial effort.
In faith,
Rabbi Ari Hart

The Australian Federal Police – Rabbi Chaim Tsvi Groner

Media Release: Australian Federal Police asked to investigate Yeshivah’s Rabbi Chaim Tsvi Groner over evidence to Royal Commission

Manny Waks
19 April 2017

PictureRabbi Chaim Tsvi Groner

The Australian Federal Police have received a complaint by victims of child sexual abuse at the Yeshivah Centre in East St. Kilda that alleges Rabbi Chaim Tsvi Groner, a Member of the Yeshivah Board, knowingly provided false or misleading evidence to the Royal Commission last month.

Rabbi Groner told the Royal Commission that disgraced Rabbi Zvi Telsner did not ‘still occupy a position of leadership within the Yeshivah Centre’

Rabbi Groner was called to appear before the Royal Commission’s Case Study 53 last month, which followed an investigation into the Chabad run Jewish school by the Royal Commission in early 2015 which heard that Rabbi Zvi Telsner, as Head Rabbi of Yeshivah, had delivered sermons attacking child sexual abuse victims and their families, encouraging other members of the community to ostracise them and discouraging victims from reporting their abuse to the police or media.

Rabbi Telsner, who is the brother in law of Rabbi Groner, supposedly resigned his position as Head Rabbi in September 2015 after another attack on a victim of child sexual abuse and released a statement acknowledging that his ‘conduct towards victims and their families did not demonstrate the values or behavior…necessary of a Rabbi in my position’.

Giving evidence last month, Rabbi Groner told the Royal Commission that presently, ‘the full extent of [Rabbi Telsner’s] involvement in the Yeshivah Centre Melbourne’ is as a ‘congregant’ who ‘gives a few classes in the Synagogue’ and that Rabbi Telsner did not ‘still occupy a position of leadership within the Yeshivah Centre Melbourne’.

According to victims, Rabbi Telsner continues in the position of Head Rabbi despite ‘resignation’

In a complaint made to the Australian Federal Police and the Royal Commission last week, victims of abuse said that Rabbi Telsner remained extensively involved in the Yeshivah Centre Melbourne and continued to occupy its most senior leadership position. 

In particular, Rabbi Telsner:

  • officiates at life cycle events of congregants – for example on 4 April 2017 Rabbi Telsner officiated at a wedding ceremony in which he was introduced by Rabbi Moshe Kahn (Director of Chabad Youth) as the Moreh D’atra (Head Rabbi and most senior halachic decision maker of the Yeshivah Centre);
  • together with Rabbi Groner, is the co-head of the Chabad Kashrut Committee in which they are responsible for determining the kosher status of food eaten by the Yeshivah community;
  • is seated in front of the congregation in the Head Rabbi’s seat during Synagogue services;
  • continues to be paid his regular salary as Head Rabbi;
  • maintains an office within the synagogue building; 
  • delivers sermons from the pulpit during weekly and festival prayer services;
  • is waited on by congregants and prayer leaders before prayers commence as a congregation does for its Head Rabbi.

Victims allege Rabbi Groner knowingly gave false or misleading evidence to the Royal Commission

Victims have asked the Australian Federal Police to investigate whether Rabbi Groner’s evidence breached Section 6H of the Royal Commissions Act 1902 (Cth) which makes it an offence to knowingly provide false or misleading evidence at a hearing before a Royal Commission. The Act provides:

(1)    A person shall not, at a hearing before a Commission, intentionally give evidence that the person knows to be false or misleading with respect to any matter being a matter that is material to the inquiry being made by the Commission
(2)    An offence against subsection (1) is an indictable offence and subject to this section is punishable on conviction by imprisonment for a period not exceeding 5 years or by a fine not exceeding $20,000.

Continuing involvement of Rabbis Telsner and Groner with Yeshivah a source of ongoing trauma for victims

Victims who were sexually abused as children within Yeshivah cite the continuing involvement of Rabbis Telsner and Groner with Yeshivah as a source of ongoing trauma which makes it difficult for them to move on with their lives. They are disappointed that the Jewish community, donors and the Government continue to support and provide funding to Yeshivah despite its failure to hold these individuals to account over their roles in the child sexual abuse scandal.
Rabbi Groner was a Trustee of Yeshivah during the period in which victims were bullied and ostracised for speaking out. He is one of only two members of the old guard who did not resign in the wake of the Royal Commission’s revelations and instead, implemented a new governance structure in which he was given a permanent seat on the Board. Rabbi Groner is the son of the late Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Groner, the long-time leader of Yeshivah, who was found by the Royal Commission to have ‘failed in his obligation to the students of Yeshivah’ by not acting upon complaints of child sexual abuse.

UPDATE: The AFP has responded – in part it reads:

I would like to advise you that further discussion has occurred between the AFP and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (the Royal Commission) regarding your allegations about false evidence provided to the Royal Commission by Rabbi Chaim Tsvi Groner. As a result of these discussions your information has been sent to the relevant area for assessment.

Please see: http://www.mannywaks.com/media-release-australian-federal-police-asked-to-investigate-yeshivahs-rabbi-chaim-tsvi-groner-over-evidence-to-royal-commission.html

KARMA STRIKES BACK: In new suit, former BK DA Hynes alleged to have had “policy, custom and practice of deliberate indifference towards witness tampering and intimidation of victims of pedophiles and their families within the ultra-Orthodox community”

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Alleged pedophile protector, former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes

From the NY Daily News:

A Brooklyn dad claims the borough’s former district attorney Charles Hynes targeted him while cutting a sweetheart deal with a prominent rabbi accused of sexually abusing boys.

Samuel Kellner says in a federal civil rights lawsuit that Hynes falsely charged him with extortion after he led an effort to lock up Baruch Lebovits.

“The ‘investigation’ by Hynes into [Kellner] deviated so egregiously from acceptable law enforcement activity as to demonstrate an intentional or reckless disregard for proper procedures,” reads the lawsuit targeting Hynes and the city.

The sordid saga began in 2008 when Lebovits allegedly molested Kellner’s son.

A prosecutor told Kellner that the district attorney’s office wasn’t going to open an investigation because the alleged offense was a misdemeanor and there were no other known victims, the suit says.

But Kellner, working with a detective, found other boys who were preyed upon by Lebovits.

Hynes’ office launched a probe but Kellner claims the former DA did nothing when Lebovits’ supporters succeeded in convincing one of his victims to drop the case.

“Hynes’ deliberate indifference towards [the boy’s] plight and failure to protect him was part of a policy, custom and practice of deliberate indifference towards witness tampering and intimidation of victims of pedophiles and their families within the ultra-Orthodox community,” says the suit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Lebovits was ultimately convicted in March 2010 of multiple counts of sexual assault and sentenced to serve up to 32 years.

Kellner’s joy was short-lived.

He claims in the suit that Hynes quietly dismissed his son’s case against Lebovits in October 2010.

“The suffering and courage of a victim in coming forward to report his abuse meant nothing to Hynes,” Kellner’s attorney Niall Macgiollabhui wrote in the suit.

Things got worse for Kellner in April 2011 when he was charged with trying to blackmail Lebovits’ wealthy family and paying a man to falsely accuse the rabbi.

Hynes held a news conference trumpeting Kellner’s arrest.

Lebovits was sprung from jail the next day. His conviction was overturned in 2012.

“What is truly shocking is that instead of locking up pedophiles and protecting children, Hynes was instrumental in securing the release of a notorious predator from prison and dismissing the cases of two victims he and his office knew to have been abused,” Macgiollabhui told the Daily News.

“At some point Hynes will have to explain why he conspired in the shadows with the family of a convicted child rapist to undermine the conviction his own office had just secured.”

The criminal charges against Kellner were dropped in March 2014 after a prosecutor re-examining the case found inconsistencies in the accounts of two key witnesses.

Lebovits pleaded guilty to reduced charges in May 2014 and was sentenced to serve another year.

He was released after just 86 days.

Hynes’ lawyer did not return a request for comment.

A spokesman for the city’s Law Department said it will review the complaint.

Kellner filed a defamation suit against the Jewish Daily Forward newspaper in November 2014. That case was settled in January under a confidentiality agreement.