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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Judge Tells Off Community

...and rightfully so, it seems: (Hat tip: Vervel)
At the sentencing last week of a bar mitzvah tutor and social worker convicted of sexually molesting two boys in Brooklyn, a New York State Supreme Court judge lashed out at the offender’s Orthodox community for “a communal attitude that seems to impose greater opprobrium on the victims than the perpetrator.”

With his stinging critique, Judge Gustin Reichbach placed himself at the center of a fierce debate in the Orthodox community over how best to police the problem of pedophilia.

Speaking from the bench the day after Yom Kippur at the sentencing of Yona Weinberg, who received a 13-month jail term, Reichbach said he found it “troubling” that the community “seeks to blame, indeed punish victims who seek justice from the ... civil society,” according to a court transcript. He went on to add that the Orthodox community’s religious courts are “inappropriate” and “incapable” of dealing with criminal matters.

Making his comments before a courtroom packed with supporters of the 31-year-old Weinberg — among them, according to his defense attorney, school principals, two rabbis and civic leaders — the judge spoke of receiving more than 90 letters attesting to Weinberg’s character and innocence. None of the letters, the judge noted, “displays any concern or any sympathy or even any acknowledgement for these young victims which, frankly, I find shameful.”
Good for him. It's mind boggling - and disgusting - that none of the letters bothered to show any sympathy for the victims.

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