Not just for Catholics any more. You don’t have to be Catholic to love special rules for child-raping theists. Nothin’ says lovin’ like a district attorney who lets clerics deal with child-rape in their “communities” with no pesky police involved.
In short, it’s not just Ireland and it’s not just Catholic priests. It’s also the Brooklyn district attorney and ultra-Orthodox rabbis.
An influential rabbi came last summer to the Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, with a message: his ultra-Orthodox advocacy group was instructing adherent Jews that they could report allegations of child sexual abuse to district attorneys or the police only if a rabbi first determined that the suspicions were credible.
The pronouncement was a blunt challenge to Mr. Hynes’s authority. But the district attorney “expressed no opposition or objection,” the rabbi, Chaim Dovid Zweibel, recalled.
This apparently means child sexual abuse by any “adherent Jews,” not just by clerics.
Mr. Hynes has won election six times as district attorney thanks in part to support from ultra-Orthodox rabbis, who lead growing communities in neighborhoods like Borough Park and Crown Heights. But in recent years, as allegations of child sexual abuse have shaken the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, victims’ rights groups have expressed concern that he is not vigorously pursuing these cases because of his deep ties to the rabbis.
Many of the rabbis consider sexual abuse accusations to be community matters best handled by rabbinical authorities, who often do not report their conclusions to the police.
Ah, fabulous. A tight-knit “community” of religious zealots and their unfortunate trapped dependents, who have given themselves permission to do their own policing of child rape, and gotten the district attorney to go along with this arrangement. That should work out well! Just as it does among the Amish.
There’s been a crackdown of sorts, leading to arrests – but there are still special rules.
Mr. Hynes has taken the highly unusual step of declining to publicize the names of defendants prosecuted under the program — even those convicted. At the same time, he continues to publicize allegations of child sexual abuse against defendants who are not ultra-Orthodox Jews.
This policy of shielding defendants’ names because of their religious status is not followed by the other four district attorneys in New York City, and has rarely, if ever, been adopted by prosecutors around the country.
Some sex-crime experts and former prosecutors said the policy contributed to a culture of secrecy in ultra-Orthodox communities, which made it harder to curb sexual abuse.
Well it would, wouldn’t it. Why else would the DA be doing it? You can’t keep secrets of that kind without contributing to a culture of secrecy. No one must know that Daddy raped a few kids. So nobody knows, and Daddy is more careful in future, and he rapes some more kids.
Marci A. Hamilton, a professor of constitutional law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, blamed Mr. Hynes for not speaking out against the ultra-Orthodox position that mandates that allegations must be first reported to rabbis. The position potentially flouts a state law that requires teachers, social workers and others to report allegations of sexual abuse immediately to the authorities.
She said Mr. Hynes was essentially allowing rabbis to act as gatekeepers.
“That’s exactly what the Catholic Church did, what the Latter-day Saints did, what the Jehovah’s Witnesses did,” said Ms. Hamilton, author of “Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children.”
Quite. It would be nice if secular law enforcement would refrain from helping them to do that.