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Police vs. Prosecutor in ’94 Brooklyn Kidnapping Case Against a Rabbi

Updated: Jul 19, 2022


Charles J. Hynes, having once embraced silence on the question of his vigor in prosecuting sex abuse in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, cannot stop talking now.


In columns, in interviews, and even in an exchange with former Mayor Edward I. Koch, Mr. Hynes, the veteran district attorney in Brooklyn, has insisted that he is one tough prosecutor. He will handcuff and arrest anyone who tries to intimidate an ultra-Orthodox family into silence.


“I will not put victims at risk,” he told The Forward.


If he allows ultra-Orthodox rabbis to act as gatekeepers, determining which child was and was not molested before turning to prosecutors, and if he agrees to keep secret the names of the molesters, who could argue with the results? Since 2009, he says, his office has prosecuted 99 sex abuse cases in the ultra-Orthodox community. (When my colleagues Sharon Otterman and Ray Rivera diced Mr. Hynes’s numbers in a series of articles, they found at least one quarter of his prosecutions had little to do with child sex abuse.)


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