Weinstein Defense Team Falling Apart

Harvey Weinstein, second from right, appeared in court with the attorneys Ron Sullivan, left, and Jose Baez, in New York in January. His former attorney Benjamin Brafman is at right.

Weinstein’s ‘Dream Team’ of Defense Lawyers Falls Apart

In the six months since Harvey Weinstein built his new “dream team” of heavy-hitting lawyers to represent him against sexual assault charges in Manhattan, the movie producer’s carefully selected legal cast has completely fallen apart.

Mr. Weinstein, whose alleged sexual misconduct set in motion the global #MeToo movement, and his first lawyer parted ways in January. He then hired a team that included a former Manhattan prosecutor and three attorneys who had defended celebrities and some of the country’s most vilified defendants.

But one by one, Mr. Weinstein’s new lawyers have bowed out. With less than three months until the trial begins, Jose Baez, one of the producer’s last remaining lawyers, asked a State Supreme Court justice in Manhattan to allow him to withdraw from the case, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private communications.

“Mr. Weinstein has been aware since at least May 15 that it was very unlikely that I would be able to continue on this case,” Mr. Baez said in a letter to Justice James Burke on Friday.

Mr. Baez did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.

Mr. Weinstein formed his team of star lawyers after he parted ways with Benjamin Brafman, a prominent defense lawyer in Manhattan, following weeks of intense arguing.

Mr. Weinstein, 67, faces charges that he raped one woman, who has not been identified, at a Midtown hotel in March 2013, and forced a second woman, Mimi Haleyi, a production assistant, to let him perform oral sex on her at his Manhattan apartment in 2006.

Mr. Weinstein has denied the allegations and has said the sexual encounters were consensual.

Mr. Baez’s request comes weeks after his partner, Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., stepped down, and five days after he had assured the justice he could handle the case.

Mr. Sullivan, a law professor and a faculty dean of an undergraduate house at Harvard University, came under fire by students there for representing Mr. Weinstein.

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The Horrific Cases of Nursing Home Abuse – Shocking the Conscience – Start Paying Attention!

6 Horrific Cases Of Nursing Home Abuse

From the Good Samaritan Society Nursing Home scandal to the shocking arrest of caregiver Nathan Sutherland, these are six of the most horrific cases of nursing home abuse.

 

There’s a special horror we feel when we see people being victimized who can barely defend themselves. Most often, it’s upon hearing stories of child abuse by the adults who should be doing their best to protect them. But it’s not just the youngest among us who fall victim to opportunistic predators. Abuse of the elderly or infirm commands far less attention in the 24-hour news cycle, but it happens with alarming frequency.

Those in long-term care facilities are sometimes ignored by family and at the mercy of staff that are either overworked or indifferent to their struggles. In this environment abuse can go unchecked until it is far too late. These are some of the worst cases of nursing home and elderly abuse in recent memory.

1St. Rita’s Nursing Home

When Hurricane Katrina hit St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, in August 2005, a mandatory evacuation order was issued. Other area nursing homes moved their patients, but the owners of St. Rita’s chose not to, fearful that it would put their residents at risk and confident they were safe on high ground, according to ABC News. When the levees broke, however, floodwaters came rushing in, drowning 35 residents, many still in their hospital beds or wheelchairs. Owners Sal and Mabel Mangano were eventually tried on 35 counts of negligent homicide and 24 counts of cruelty to the elderly or infirm but were acquitted on all counts in 2007, according to CBS News.

2Luis Gomez

A native of Guatemala, Gomez got a nursing degree after moving to Waynesville, North Carolina, in the late 1990s. Over the next 20 years, he would be accused of sexually abusing six women in three different area facilities, according to CNN. His victims ranged in age from their 50s to 80s, with most suffering from long-term debilitating conditions. In 2017, Gomez was found guilty on two counts of forcible rape, one count of forcible sex offense and three counts of sexual activity by a custodian, according to local newspaper The Mountaineer. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison, according to FOX8 in North Carolina.

3Good Samaritan Society Nursing Home

In late 2008, six teenagers who worked at the Good Samaritan Society Nursing Home in Albert Lea, Minnesota, were arrested for abusing its residents. Most of the victims suffered from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and, according to the Associated Press, the criminal complaint said the teens would spit in residents’ mouths, spray them with water and poke and grope their genitals. While the cases of those under 18 were settled in juvenile court, Brianna Broitzman and Ashton Larson were charged as adults and sentenced to 180 days in jail after pleading guilty to three counts each of disorderly conduct by a caregiver. Both were released after 42 days, according to the Albert Lea Tribune newspaper.

4George Kpingbah

In 2014, a fellow nurse walked in on 76-year-old George Sumo Kpingbah having sex with an 83-year-old Alzheimer’s patient at Walker Methodist Health Center in Minneapolis, MN. According to CNN, it wasn’t the first time sexual abuse complaints had been filed against Kpingbah, who had previously been suspended by the facility. In 2015, he was sentenced to eight years in prison and agreed to pay $15 million dollars to the estate of the rape survivor if he is ever convicted again of criminal sexual conduct, according to Minneapolis’ Star Tribune.

5Hacienda HealthCare Facility

On Dec. 29, 2018, a 29-year-old-woman gave birth to a baby boy at Hacienda HealthCare facility in Phoenix, Arizona. The woman had been in a vegetative state since nearly drowning at the age of 3, and staff was not even aware she was pregnant, according to Arizona’s KPHO-TV.  Weeks later, police arrested one of her caregivers, Nathan Sutherland, 36, after a DNA test matched him to the child and charged him with one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse, according to Fox News. He has pleaded not guilty, and he is currently being held in a Maricopa County jail on $500,000 cash-only bail, according to the Arizona Republic newspaper.

6Brookshire Assisted Living Facility

When 39-year-old Guettie Belizare went missing on the job for two hours, her co-workers at a Melbourne, Florida, assisted living facility went looking for her. She was later found wearing nothing but her bra in the room of a 69-year-old resident suffering from dementia, according to the Miami Herald. The man claimed Belizare had raped him, which was later corroborated by DNA evidence. She was arrested in April 2019 and charged with abuse of elderly or disabled adult without great harm and lewd and lascivious molestation of elderly or disabled adult and released after posting $10,000 bond. She is currently awaiting trial.

To follow coverage on this topic and the doctors, nurses and medical professionals involved, please click here.

Legitimizing Child Sexual Abuse, Malka Leifer, and a Meeting between Roger Cook and Yaakov Litzman

Alleged victim blasts WA Deputy Premier for meeting Israeli politician linked to Melbourne child sex accused

Alleged victims of accused child sex abuser Malka Leifer have described a meeting between WA Deputy Premier Roger Cook and an Israeli politician under investigation for allegedly hindering her extradition to Australia as deeply hurtful and a “slap in the face”.

Mr Cook met Israeli Deputy Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman while leading a delegation from WA in discussions on digital medicine, medical cannabis and vaccination policy, according to an Israeli government media statement.

Dassi Erlich, an alleged victim of a child sex accused awaiting extradition from Israel, has spoken out about WA Deputy Premier Roger Cook's meeting with an Israeli politician linked to the extradition proceedings.
Dassi Erlich, an alleged victim of a child sex accused awaiting extradition from Israel, has spoken out about WA Deputy Premier Roger Cook’s meeting with an Israeli politician linked to the extradition proceedings.CREDIT:JOE ARMAO

Rabbi Litzman has been accused of pressuring health officials and psychiatrists into declaring Ms Leifer unfit for extradition from Israel, allegations which are under investigation by the Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office.

He told Israeli media in February his intervention in the case was “all for the good of the public, everything was legal”.

Ms Leifer is the former principal of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish school in Melbourne charged with 74 counts of child sexual abuse allegedly committed against three sisters between 2001-2008.

An alleged victim of Ms Leifer, Dassi Erlich, said she was “more than infuriated” when she read Israeli news reports of Mr Cook’s meeting with Rabbi Litzman.

“I woke up to news of that meeting early this morning [Monday], and it kind of felt a bit like a slap in the face,” Ms Erlich said.

“We have Australia consistently telling us, ‘what can we do to help, we want justice in this case,’ and then we see all these reports coming from Israel saying that Litzman is alleged to have helped not just Malka Leifer, but a lot of other paedophiles escape justice.

“And here is an Australian delegation legitimising who he is and his position, given what they know about him.

“It absolutely hurt a lot.”

Ms Erlich, who first reported allegations against against Ms Leifer to police in 2011, said the allegations against Rabbi Litzman were all over the news in Israel and she couldn’t understand how an Australian politician could not have known about them.

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Israel, Malka Leifer, Australia, Health Minister Litzman and his Complicity – Media Release

MEDIA RELEASE: Developments in Malka Leifer case

To download this statement release in PDF format, click here.


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Developments in Malka Leifer case

28 May 2019


The ongoing significant delay in extraditing accused pedophile, Malka Leifer, from Israel to Australia to face 74 charges involving allegations that she sexually abused at least eight pupils during her time as principal of the Adass Israel school in Melbourne between 2003 and 2008, is causing growing dismay across the Australian Jewish community.

Malka Leifer left Melbourne to return to Israel in 2008 within hours of the allegations against her coming to light, and before a warrant could be issued for her arrest in Australia.

Since her arrest by the authorities in Israel in August 2014 following Australia making a formal request for her extradition, the extradition proceedings have come before the courts in Israel on more than 50 occasions. However, no order for her extradition to Australia has been made, as her lawyers continue to argue that she is unfit to stand trial due to her alleged mental state. Those seeking her extradition have produced evidence suggesting that she has been malingering.

The consternation about the delays in the case have been heightened by the fact that Israel’s Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman was interrogated by Israeli police in February 2019 over allegations that he met with Jerusalem’s district psychiatrist, Dr Jacob Charnes, to pressure him into issuing a false assessment for Leifer in support of her claim that she should not be extradited to Australia because she is mentally unfit to stand trial. Mr Litzman and Ms Leifer are both members of the Gur chasidic sect.

In recent weeks Israeli media have reported on further allegations that Litzman and his ministry intervened on behalf of at least 10 convicted sex offenders, including pressuring psychiatrists in at least one other case. Litzman has denied all wrong-doing.

These allegations of executive interference in the judicial process raise grave questions about the integrity of the handling of the Leifer case in Israel while Mr Litzman remains in any government position. We call upon acting Prime Minister Netanyahu to announce an official inquiry into the allegations, and to confirm that Mr Litzman will not be appointed to any executive office pending the outcome of the inquiry.

Litzman’s political party, United Torah Judaism, which won 8 seats in the recent general election in Israel, may be a coalition partner in Israel’s next government. We maintain that political considerations must have no bearing whatsoever on the Leifer case, and that Israel’s judiciary must operate with complete independence and impartiality. Justice must not only be done but also be seen to be done.

This is not a matter that concerns Israel exclusively. Ms Leifer’s accusers in Australia, the Australian government and citizens of Australia, especially the Jewish community, have a deep and direct interest in the case. We will not rest until Malka Leifer is extradited to Australia and put on trial.

We continue to stand with the survivors who have persevered these long years to bring Malka Leifer to justice. Their dignity in the face of delays in the extradition trial and allegations of impropriety by various officials are to their great credit.

Contact
Peter Wertheim AM | co-CEO
ph: 02 8353 8500 | m: 0408 160 904 | fax 02 9361 5888
e: 
pwertheim@ecaj.org.au | www.ecaj.org.au 

What Our Prophets Would Likely Say About Such Corruption? Protecting the Indefensible in Israel, re: Eliezer Berland [VIDEO]

 

Dear Readers:

We are posting this video from Yaakov Horowitz who is highly critical of Israeli Elected Officials and writes on his Twitter feed: 

Child sex offender Eliezer Berland honored with lighting torch in Miron. Alleged abuser Malka Leifer keeps evading extradition. Sex offender Yona Weinberg sues a child safety advocate for slander. What our prophets would likely say to such corruption.

We do not believe, as a general matter, that Mr. Horowitz would support much of what we post on this blog. Posting this video should not be viewed as anything more that what it is: we  share our views on the corruption involved with protecting sexual predators and abusers and it is for this reason that we are posting this powerful video. 

We post this with admiration and respect for what is said. We hope that those seeing this will read and share and perhaps someone in Israel will be listening. It is about time that Israel stop being a haven for the indefensible.

 

LM

The Horrifying Reality of the Israeli Health Czar, Yaakov Litzman and the Aid He Provided Sex Offenders – His Complicity – Malka Leifer and Others

Yaakov Litzman at a weekly government meeting in Jerusalem, May 12, 2019.

Israeli Health Czar Methodically Aided ultra-Orthodox Sex Offenders, Investigation Reveals

A Channel 13 investigation reports that United Torah Judaism Chairman Yaakov Litzman pressured mental health officials into granting furloughs, lightening risk assessments for convicted ultra-Orthodox sex criminals

Deputy Health Minister and United Torah Judaism Chairman Yaakov Litzman worked directly and through his government post in order to help ultra-Orthodox sex offenders, among them pedophiles and serial rapists, a Channel 13 investigation reported.

Litzman’s efforts included methodically pressuring mental health professionals into lightening their risk assessments for ultra-Orthodox prisoners, and approving or lengthening prisoners’ furloughs – even for sex offenders who have not yet been rehabilitated, the investigation reported. Mental health professionals told Haaretz that Litzman’s requests on the subject were not uncommon, and that there are more even cases than were presented in the report.

The investigation followed earlier publications on the subject, including reports from Haaretz. It presented ten previously unreported cases in which Litzman and his personnel (including his chief of staff Haim Justman, now an MK for United Torah Judaism) were involved. Nine of the cases deal with convicted sex offenders who were sentenced to lengthy prison terms, most of whom are ultra-Orthodox.

The remaining case touches upon Litzman’s alleged involvement in preventing the extradition of Malka Leifer to Australia. An Australian indictment charged Leifer, a former principal of an ultra-Orthodox school who is now incarcerated, with 72 counts of various types of sexual assault, including 11 counts of rape. These include the rape and sexual assault of three sisters who were students of hers in her Melbourne ultra-Orthodox community. Leifer’s extradition process, and the question of her ability to stand trial, is still under debate in the Israeli court system – more than 50 conversations have been held on the subject.

Litzman’s office released a statement in response to the report, saying that he helps anyone who turns to him, regardless of their affiliation. Litzman’s staff also disseminated this message in an ad campaign costing tens of thousands of shekels on the Channel 13 website, to accompany the broadcast. The statement called the claims in the report “an ongoing and planned hunting campaign” and a “blood libel” against Litzman, intended to damage his image and prevent him from returning to a Health Ministry post.

 

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