(CBS News) Former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky is facing 52 counts of child sexual abuse, but his attorney Joe Amendola told CBS News that his wife, 68-year-old Dorothy (known as Dottie), is also suffering the consequences.
"Her whole life is ruined. I mean, even if they come out of this - and I've compared this battle to climbing Mt. Everest from the bottom - even if somehow Jerry comes out of this without being convicted, I mean, their lives are ruined."
Dottie has been a fixture of Jerry Sandusky's life for 45 years, helping raise the couple's six adopted children and being an active participant in his Second Mile youth charity, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner.
But her name is coming up in the case - questions about what she knew or didn't know about her husband's alleged sexual abuse of children.
Ten young men have alleged they were molested by Sandusky over a period of 15 years.
In a grand jury report released Wednesday, one accuser said that while he was being sexually assaulted by Sandusky in the basement bedroom of the couple's home, he screamed for help knowing that Sandusky's wife was upstairs. But, he said, no one ever came to help him.
Dottie Sandusky responded to that allegation Thursday, saying she has been "devastated . . . by these false accusations that such a terrible incident ever occurred in my home."
She said she and her husband "don't know why these young men have made these false accusations, but we want everyone to know they are untrue."
Now the attorney for another alleged victim tells CBS News that at next week's preliminary hearing, he expects his client will be asked questions about what he calls an incident in which Mrs. Sandusky may have had knowledge of inappropriate conduct concerning her husband.
He would not discuss details of that incident.
Sandusky himself, meanwhile, continues to maintain that he is innocent.
An unidentified protestor stands outside Beaver Stadium prior to the NCAA football game between Nebraska and Penn State
WHERE ARE YOU, MEMBERS OF OUR FRUM COMMUNITIES?
WHY ARE YOU NOT GIVING MONEY FOR THE HEALING AND RECOVERY OF HUNDREDS OF JEWISH VICTIMS OF THE HEINOUS CRIME OF SEXUAL ABUSE PERPETRATED BY NON OTHER THAN OUR VERY OWN!
THE VICTIMS HAVE NO VOICE AND OFTEN NO MONEY FOR THERAPY.
WHERE IS THE OUTCRY AND RUSH TO HELP OUR BRETHREN?
WE ARE A NATION OF CHESED!
WHERE IS THE KOL KOREH ASKING PEOPLE TO DONATE TO THIS CAUSE?
WHY DO OUR RABBONIM RUN TO COLLECT MONEY FOR THE CRIMINALS WHO ARE CONVICTED OF TERRIBLE CRIMES, IN ORDER TO GET THEM OUT OF JAIL?
IF OUR RABBONIM ARE INCAPABABLE OF COMING TO THIS REALIZATION ON THEIR OWN, IT IS OKAY, BECAUSE THEY HAVE PENN STATE TO LOOK UP TO- THEY CAN FOLLOW IN THEIR FOOTSTEPS.
ANYTHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING.
Penn State Scandal: Alumni Raise Money For Sex Abuse Victims
Huff Post December 8, 2011
Thousands of Penn State University alumni, students, parents and fans have banded together to raise money for sex-abuse victims.
The sudden surge of support stems from the recent arrest of their alma mater's once beloved former football coach, Jerry Sandusky, for charges of 40 counts of sex abuse involving minors.
Jerry Needle, a 1986 graduate of Penn State, collaborated with fellow alumni to create Proud to be a Penn Stater, self-described on the site as "a grassroots network of proud Penn State alumni...embarrassed and shocked by the recent events at Penn State."
The group has partnered with theRape, Abuse & Incest National Network, or RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization, in an effort to "mobilize to raise funds for the victims and put the focus back where it should be -- on the victims," Needle told ABC news.
Using the hashtag #ProudPSUforRAINN on Twitter and Facebook, the organization has already raised over $383,000, according to its site. The group hopes to raise at least one dollar for every student to ever graduate from Penn State -- a total of over $550,000.
RAINN spokesperson Katherine Hull told ABC news that the donations will go directly to support the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, an instant-message based crisis intervention website.
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former Penn State football defensive coordinator Gerald "Jerry" Sandusky
Sandusky Jailed on New Child Sex Abuse Charges
By GENARO C. ARMAS and MARC LEVY Associated Press STATE COLLEGE, Pa. December 8, 2011 (AP)
Ex-Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was jailed Wednesday after new child sex abuse charges were filed against him based on the claims of new two accusers, one of whom says he screamed in vain for help while Sandusky attacked him in a basement bedroom.
The latest accusers are the ninth and 10th described as victims in grand jury reports that claim Sandusky befriended and then molested boys he met through his charity for troubled youths, The Second Mile. A grand jury document released Wednesday echoed an earlier report, saying Sandusky gave the boys gifts while making advances on them.
One of the new accusers said Sandusky kept him in a basement bedroom during overnight visits to Sandusky's home, forced him to perform oral sex and attempted on at least 16 occasions to anally penetrate him, sometimes successfully.
"The victim testified that on at least one occasion he screamed for help, knowing that Sandusky's wife was upstairs, but no one ever came to help him," the grand jury report said.
Sandusky now faces criminal accusations from 10 young men and more than 50 charges stemming from what authorities say were assaults over 15 years on boys in his home, on Penn State property and elsewhere. The scandal has provoked strong criticism that Penn State officials didn't do enough to stop Sandusky. The scandal prompted the ouster of Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno and the school's longtime president, Graham Spanier.
Sandusky, 67, has said repeatedly that he is innocent and has vowed to fight the case. In interviews with NBC and The New York Times, he said he showered and horsed around with boys but never sexually abused them. His lawyer, Joseph Amendola, said Wednesday that he had not read the latest grand jury report but had no reason to doubt Sandusky's claims of innocence.
Sandusky was wide-eyed and quiet during the arraignment in a cramped district magistrate's office outside the small town of Bellefonte. He could not immediately pay $250,000 cash bail and was driven to Centre County jail by agents from the state attorney general's office.
He had been arrested at his home, handcuffed behind his back and driven to court wearing a blue and white Penn State wrestling jacket and matching sweat pants.
After the hearing, Sandusky avoided eye contact and did not speak to about two dozen reporters and photographers waiting before authorities placed him in the back of a sedan that would shuttle him to jail.
The new accusers, who contacted officials after Sandusky's initial arrest on Nov. 5, told the grand jury they met him through the charity he founded in 1977.
"I took it at first he was just a nice guy, like he went to church every weekend, his kids would come over every once in a while and stuff. And after a while, like, he got used to me and stuff and started getting further and further, wanting — to touchy feely," the ninth accuser, who is now 18 years old, told the grand jury.
He said he was 11 or 12 when he first met Sandusky in 2004 and Sandusky took him to Penn State football games, gave him gifts and money and sexually assaulted him for years, according to the grand jury report.
The 10th accuser told the grand jury he was referred by a counselor to The Second Mile in 1997, when he was 10 and experiencing problems at home.
Lakewood, in Ocean County, N.J is home to some 40,000 Orthodox jews.
Court testimony offers rare public glimpse into religious tribunals’ handling of child sex abuse allegations; no reporting to police.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011 Hella Winston - Special To The Jewish Week
Last spring in a New Jersey courtroom, a prosecutor and defense attorney battled it out in a series of seemingly routine pre-trial hearings. At issue was a narrow point of law: whether or not a social worker who had evaluated an alleged child molester would be allowed to testify at his trial.
Amid the legal wrangling, however, facts emerged that were anything but ordinary — ones perhaps amplified by the recent revelations about alleged sexual abuse scandals at Penn State and Syracuse universities.
The social worker’s evaluation had not been conducted on behalf of the courts or police. Instead, it was commissioned by a Lakewood, N.J., beit din, a Jewish religious tribunal operating as a kind of shadow justice system, adjudicating sexual abuse cases without the involvement of law enforcement.
Witnesses spoke of a world in which abuse allegations are typically “investigated” not by the secular authorities, but by rabbis lacking supervision by the criminal justice system. It is a world where victims and perpetrators alike are subjected to threats of social ostracism and, in some cases, physical harm for non-compliance with the “system.”
To anyone following the unfolding story of child sexual abuse in the haredi world, that these communities have a history of handling abuse allegations internally is hardly news. The longstanding and harshly enforced communal taboo against “informing” on another Jew to the secular authorities plays a key role in blocking victims from reporting abuse allegations to police and pressing charges.
In the past few years, aided by the Internet and blogs, a number of advocacy organizations founded by members, or former members, of these communities has emerged. Much of their work, centered mostly in Brooklyn, has focused on combating this taboo and providing support to abuse victims.
In addition, advocates have worked to shine a spotlight on many of the major social and political institutions in those communities, including yeshivas, social service agencies and even Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes. (Hynes’ office launched a hotline to report haredi abuse cases in 2009, seemingly in response to criticism that his office has a history of “going easy” on haredi child molesters.)
The climate is different in Lakewood, acknowledged as the seat of non-chasidic haredi Judaism in the United States. Home to one of the largest and most prominent yeshivas in the world, Beth Medrash Govoha (BMG), and a community of close to 40,000 Orthodox Jews, Lakewood has not been spared the problem of child sexual abuse — an ill that plagues all communities, religious and secular alike.
However, there are no public advocacy groups in Lakewood helping victims and agitating for change. Further, unlike Brooklyn, which is home to myriad haredi groups with no centralized “governing” body, the Lakewood community, dominated by BMG — which boasts over 6,000 students and an annual operating budget approaching $25 million — is something of a company town, residents and observers say. Indeed, the brothers who run BMG, Rabbi Aryeh Malkiel Kotler and Rabbi Aaron Kotler, exert considerable control over daily life within the community, with the bylaws of the Lakewood Jewish Community Council stating that the “community is centered around [BMG] … and [the council] functions at the pleasure of [the yeshiva heads] as represented by R. Malkiel Kotler.”
This control — bolstered by the geographically bounded and insular nature of the community — means that it can be even harder for Lakewood residents to overcome the communal taboo and report abuse to the authorities than it is for their counterparts in Brooklyn.
“Most victims of abuse and parents in Lakewood are afraid to speak up because [they fear being threatened by rabbis],” Debbie Rudin, a victim of childhood sexual abuse who now lives in Lakewood, told The Jewish Week.“
"There are many Jewish communities that are controlled by the rabbonim [rabbis] of their towns that set certain standards, whether in regards to businesses, giving kosher supervision or allowing schools to open,” said Harold (Hershel) Hershkowitz, a Lakewood businessman who ran (and lost) for the Lakewood Township Committee on an anti-cronyism platform against the BMG-backed candidate. “But all of these are controlled in an open manner well understood by all that live there,” he said. “Lakewood, on the other hand, has a cabal that controls most Jewish publications, websites and of course the political arena, in order to exert full influence whenever it is necessary in order to keep their position of influence.
”Rubin and Hershkowitz are two of numerous Lakewood residents, therapists, educators, social workers and community activists, as well as seven abuse victims interviewed by The Jewish Week in the course of a months-long investigation into the abuse situation there and how it is being handled. An interest in maintaining communal control, they say, is a major factor in the rabbinic and lay leadership’s desire to deal with abuse in ways that do not involve law enforcement.
Indeed, the court testimony described above affords a rare public glimpse into what New Jersey Superior Court Judge Francis R. Hodgson characterized as Lakewood’s “parallel justice system.
”The testimony itself comes from the only sexual abuse case in memory from the Lakewood haredi community to be prosecuted — something that came about because a family flouted, at great personal cost, communal norms and pressed charges against an alleged child molester, Yosef Kolko, in 2009.
The testimony raises many questions, especially in light of the Penn State and Syracuse situations, which have advocates across the country calling for tougher mandatory reporting laws. Prominent among them is whether the rabbis and others in the Lakewood community who participate in this parallel justice system are violating New Jersey’s mandated reporting law — not to mention alleged victims’ civil rights — and, if so, what is being done about it. The law requires “all persons” (including clergy) who have “reasonable cause to believe” that a child has been abused to make a report “immediately” to the Division of Youth and Family Services. (A knowing violation of this law could result in a fine and/or jail time.)
According to Marci Hamilton, Paul R. Verkuil chair in public law at Cardozo and a leading church-state scholar, “The prosecutors in [situations] like this are doing the religious community no favors. Without enforcing the mandatory reporting laws, the poisonous abuse stays within the community, the perpetrator gets more opportunities to abuse and the victims continue to suffer."
According to court papers and interviews with people close to the family of the boy allegedly abused by Kolko, a 34-year-old former teacher at Yeshiva Orchos Chaim in Lakewood who also worked as a camp counselor, the family decided to go to the authorities only after they had exhausted the options within the community and found no relief. Before doing so, they sought assistance from a community activist, Doniel Bernstein, and several prominent Lakewood rabbis, including Rabbi Mattisyahu Salomon, the “mashgiach,” or spiritual adviser, at BMG, and the “go-to” rabbi for all manner of communal issues in Lakewood, sources say.
Rabbi Salomon, along with Rabbi Shmuel Blech, served for a time on a formal beit din, created by Salomon several years ago specifically to hear sexual abuse allegations.
After hearing the allegations about Kolko, Bernstein, on behalf of the rabbis, commissioned a paid psychological evaluation of Kolko by a social worker, Gavriel Fagin. Fagin, who at one time worked in the sex offender treatment program at OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services in Brooklyn, now maintains a private practice in which he specializes, among other areas, “in the evaluation and treatment of sexual deviance.
”Fagin testified in New Jersey Superior Court that he was contacted by “The [Beis] Din … in charge of following up on allegations of inappropriate sexual contact between individuals in the community” and asked to “evaluate an individual for their purposes to be able to determine how to proceed further.” Fagin stated in court that he saw Kolko five times to administer computer-based tests and that he did not “have much knowledge of the situation” that brought Kolko to the beit din in the first place. Fagin did not interview the alleged victim.
The mere act of commissioning an evaluation — which was apparently damning enough for the prosecution to argue (successfully) for Fagin’s ability to testify at trial — would seem to indicate at least a reasonable cause to suspect abuse. Even so, none of those made privy to these allegations reported them to the authorities.
After Kolko was arrested, the victim’s family was threatened and the alleged victim was denied admission to schools.
After the arrest, a widely distributed proclamation signed by nine Lakewood rabbis, including Chaim Ginsberg and Shmuel Katz, both employed by BMG, warned that “no one … may … bring any accusations to the secular authorities” and that “it is prohibited [for anyone] to assist and participate with the secular authorities in their efforts to persecute a Jewish person."
Rabbis outside Lakewood sought to apply pressure as well. Yisroel Belsky, a prominent Brooklyn-based rabbi and yeshiva head who has also served in a senior position with the Orthodox Union for over 20 years, sent a letter to Lakewood residents. In it, he wrote of the “horrific news that one of your fellow residents in town informed upon a fellow Jew to the secular authorities.” He added that “all who have the ability to influence the informers to retract their terrible deeds should do so.”
Shortly after the Rabbi Belsky letter was sent, a 31-year-old Lakewood resident named Shaul Luban allegedly sent out text messages urging residents of Lakewood to try to pressure the victim’s father into not testifying.The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office has charged Luban with witness tampering. The nine Lakewood rabbis and Rabbi Belsky have not been charged with any crime.
The victim’s family has since left Lakewood, but has not backed down and the prosecution is moving forward. I n addition to information directly relevant to the Kolko case, testimony from the hearings indicates that there have been other abuse allegations apparently deemed credible by rabbis, but that nonetheless went unreported to the police.
In testimony in New Jersey Superior Court given in May of this year, Lakewood rabbi and activist Micky Rottenberg alludes to such a case, which The Jewish Week has learned involved allegations against the husband of a woman who ran a local children’s playgroup. The beit din found the allegations to be credible and publicized them, effectively shutting down the playgroup. However, the authorities were never notified and the accused remains in the community today.
In his testimony, Rabbi Rottenberg also sheds light on the beit din’s inner workings.
According to him, “[The Secretary] of the beis din [would contact] the victims … [and the] alleged perpetrator, discuss with them … beg them to do certain things. And if they don’t do it, [the secretary would say] ‘I’m going to report [to the beit din] that you don’t listen to us, and then we are going to … Take away your job. Send away your kids from schools.’ Whatever measures they would feel they have power to be able for the person to submit and accept the verdict of the beis din.”
Rabbi Rottenberg also testified that he felt the beit din favored the accusers and was in fact involved in disbanding it at the behest of Rabbi Malkiel Kotler for this reason. Rabbi Kotler, through his brother, denied making any such request.In arguments at a court hearing, Kolko’s attorney, Michael Wilbert, refers to a Rabbi Shmuel Vogel who, he claims, was “charged with a violation” by Bernstein and “required to go to a social worker in New York ... Mr. Sternstein.”
Sternstein is Hillel Sternstein, coordinator of trauma services at OHEL, and a social worker with a private practice in Long Island.Even those who do not attempt to report to police, but seek to publicize allegations within the Lakewood community, are often intimidated. A 2009 article in the Asbury Park Press described how the home of Rivka Finkelstein, the mother of a sexual abuse survivor who died of a drug overdose, was burned down after a letter written by her son excoriating the Orthodox community for its failure to deal with the problem of sexual abuse was made public online after his death. (According to the story, which cited several other examples of such intimidation, police believed arson was the likely cause of the fire.)
Of the 32 people on the New Jersey Sex Offender Registry living in Lakewood, there appears to be only one member of the Orthodox community, convicted of endangering the welfare of a child. According to a therapist in Lakewood with knowledge of the situation, “he was arrested in another township [for exposing himself to non-Jewish children], which is why [he was prosecuted and] made it onto the list.”
Calls to Doniel Bernstein were not returned. Attempts to reach Rabbi Blech and Rabbi Salomon were unsuccessful.
A source close to Rabbi Salomon’s beit din who consulted with its members on behalf of this reporter told The Jewish Week that they would not speak to the paper out of concern that “the ‘forces’ that led to the disbanding [of the beit din] are still ever present. They expressed fear that speaking about these forces will lead to personal reprisal.” The source acknowledged Rottenberg as one of these so-called “forces.” A call to Rottenberg was not returned.
An e-mail to Rabbi Aaron Kotler seeking comment on Rabbi Salomon’s beit din resulted in a reply from Rabbi Moshe Zev Weisberg, president of the Lakewood Community Service Corp.
While Rabbi Salomon is employed by BMG, Rabbi Weisberg said he was responding because “[these questions relate] to Orthodox community issues and not [BMG].” He told The Jewish Week that “The Lakewood community leadership has zero tolerance for any sexual abuse and is actively committed to following the law. Our community policy, which is in full compliance with applicable law and our [halachic] guidelines, is to report any reasonable suspicion of abuse to the proper law enforcement authorities.”
When asked whether the community has a process for determining what constitutes “reasonable suspicion,” Rabbi Weisberg replied, “I guess a common sense evaluation of the evidence determines reasonableness.” To the question of whether or not those who have a reasonable suspicion of abuse must first take their concerns to a rabbi, Rabbi Weisberg told The Jewish Week that “individuals are encouraged to follow the law.”
To be sure, the idea of using rabbis or a formal beit din to vet sexual abuse allegations has its defenders, among them Agudath Israel, which takes the position that all allegations of sexual abuse must first be reported to a rabbi. The president of the Rabbinical Council of America, Rabbi Moshe Kletenick, has noted that religious courts can be used to investigate allegations, screening out false ones and referring those with “substance” to the secular authorities.All of this puts prosecutors — especially ones in New Jersey, where the mandatory reporting laws are much tougher than they are in New York — in a delicate spot. They are essentially caught between enforcing the law when it comes to the issue of rabbis and others failing to report suspicions of child abuse to the authorities and challenging entrenched and powerful interests.
In the Kolko hearings, Judge Hodgson mused about the bet din system and the wider societal interests at play.“I think that it is not a small factor to be considered, that really this is a parallel judicial system that exists within the specific closed … community,” he said. “I think that the state has an interest and that society has an interest in identifying, prosecuting and punishing criminals.”Asked whether she planned to take any action on this matter, Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford told The Jewish Week, “It is not our policy to speculate about potential criminal charges.”
However, on Nov. 10, apparently prompted by “the revelations of unreported child sexual abuse at Penn State,” Ford released a statement reminding “all members of the public that we are obligated under New Jersey law to report suspected acts of child abuse to the authorities, whether that is the local police, the Division of Youth and Family Services or to the county prosecutor’s office. All that is needed is a ‘reasonable suspicion’ of child abuse to trigger the mandatory reporting obligation.”
Ford, who has referred to the “wall of silence” that hampers criminal investigations in the Lakewood Orthodox community, also told The Jewish Week that her office had considered hiring a liaison from that community. Concerns over whether such a person would be “beholden to our office or … to the community” convinced her not to, and Ford says her office is now trying to “build upon relationships … [and] open up those channels of communication [with the community]” it already has.According to Ford, at this point, “the most important thing is to have someone … cooperate [with us] as a victim or a parent of a victim.”
There are some who believe that Ford’s efforts do not go far enough.“These [mandatory reporting] laws are put on the books for a reason and they need to be enforced,” Mark Crawford, director of the New Jersey chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) told The Jewish Week.
Debbie Rudin, the Lakewood resident, said, “I feel I can speak for the majority that they would like to see the prosecutor convene a grand jury investigation and subpoena all of the rabbis of the beit din, the Yeshiva and the Va’ad [community council] to hand over all allegations of child sexual abuse that have come to them over the years. … If the prosecutor … can’t handle it, she should appeal for help to the FBI, which has expertise in these matters.”
When it comes to the issue of intimidation, New Jersey attorney and author Michael Lesher believes that those who have been pressured into not reporting could be crime victims under federal civil rights law.
Lesher, a contributor to “Tempest in the Temple: Jewish Communities & Child Sex Scandals,” a recent collection of essays edited by Dr. Amy Neustein, believes that “the use of federal investigative power … would be a powerful tool against rabbinic cover-ups, particularly because, at the state level, local prosecutors who work in counties with very large Orthodox populations are understandably hampered for political reasons if they take on the leaders of these communities. Federal prosecutors are less subject to such pressure because they’re answerable to the Justice Department, which is nationally organized.”
While it may ultimately fall to law enforcement to remedy the situation, some Lakewood residents and observers place the blame for this problem squarely at the feet of the community’s rabbinic and lay leadershipRabbi Yosef Blau, the mashigiach ruchani (dean) at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University, told The Jewish Week that he has learned from people with personal knowledge of the situation that there are “hundreds of children who reported having been abused [to rabbis and others in the Lakewood community].”
“There is no doubt that an outstanding center for Torah learning exists in Lakewood,” Rabbi Blau continued. “But in trying to maintain the illusion that no societal problems exist, the religious leadership has refused to respond meaningfully to the suffering of victims of abuse in families, schools and the community.”
Ari GalaharPublished: 12.05.11, 15:08 / Israel Jewish Scene- Ynet
According to different testimonies, radical women have begun wearing cloth-covered pipe on their head to conceal their human figure
Have the "Taliban women" invented a new strict modesty rule? According to testimonies received by Ynet's local portal, Mynet, the radical group of ultra-Orthodox women dressed in cloaks has begun wearing a cloth-covered tube on their heads in order to conceal their human figure.
A source close to the group reveals that "the stricter members have decided that the veil is not enough, as the form of their face can still be seen. The solution found is a sort of pipe in the form of a funnel, which they wear on their heads under the veil."
The haredi public recently stepped up its war on the radical phenomenon, and even the most conservative rabbis affiliated with the extreme Eda Haredit faction have lashed out at the women.
A special meeting of the Badatz – the Eda Haredit's supreme religious-spiritual authority – concluded with a proclamation titled, "Holy call for the sanctity of Israel's homes." The rabbis warned Jewish women to stay away from the customs and ways of the "Taliban women", who "are doomed".
(November 29, 2011 Failedmessiah.com)
In another incident, two of the group leaders decided to pair their children – a 16-year-old boy and 23-year-old girl – without informing the couple or their fathers. The women held the wedding ceremony against the minor groom's will, and as a result he asked to divorce his wife shortly afterwards.
When the wife refused to accept a divorce, the husband decided to marry another young woman in an act of bigamy which is illegal and considered controversial by the Halacha.
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Mother in court on Sunday
Aviad GlickmanPublished: 07.19.09, / Israel News.Beit Shemesh resident, her husband were accused of severely beating their children over nine-year period; indictment said neglect led to incestuous relations between some of the kids. Defense attorney: She needs medical attention, not jail timeA Beit Shemesh resident was convicted on Sunday of aggravated assault and abuse of aminor for continually abusing six of her 12 children. Her husband was convicted of abuse and failure to report the abuse to the authorities.
The mother was originally charged with abusing all 12 of her children. According to the indictment, which was filed in April 2008 and included multiple counts detailing years of abuse and neglect, she and her husband severely beat their children with household tools and whipped them with the use of belts and cables over a period of nine years. The parents would sometimes lock their children out of the house if they disobeyed them, the indictment read.
The mother's attorney, Gil Dachuach, said in response to the conviction that "it is regretful that a sick woman is prosecuted as though she were a normal person. A society that judges such people will eventually ostracize them.
"The State's psychiatrists also admitted that she has a mental problem. This woman has been living in the dark and has not been out of her house for 10 years. She needs medical attention," he said.According to the indictment, in one incident the mother, nicknamed "Taliban mom" on account of her refusal to reveal her face during her trial, put out a match on the chest of one of her sons and poured bleach into his goalkeeper gloves after he played soccer without her consent.The woman's trial was held behind closed doors.
Ynet has learned that over the past few months the attorney representing most of the children, Zeri Hazan, sent prosecutors a letter in which he asked that they not file an indictment against the mother, claiming that she was in need of psychiatric care. The attorney also said sending the mother to jail would be a blow to her family.
The indictment further revealed that the parents' continued neglect led to incestuous relations between some of the kids.
Allison Arngrim (left) starred on 'Little House on the Prairie." She said stories about Corey Feldman and Corey Haim (right) being abused as child stars were common in the 1980s and 90s.
By Meaghan Murphy, Published December 05, 2011 | FoxNews.com
If a spate of recent allegations proves true, Hollywood may have a hideous epidemic on its hands. The past two weeks have brought three separate reports of alleged child sexual abuse in the entertainment industry.
Martin Weiss, a 47-year-old Hollywood manager who represented child actors, was charged in Los Angeles on Dec. 1 with sexually abusing a former client. His accuser, who was under 12 years old during the time of the alleged abuse, reported to authorities that Weiss told him "what they were doing was common practice in the entertainment industry." Weiss has pleaded not guilty. On Nov. 21, Fernando Rivas, 59, an award-winning composer for “Sesame Street,” was arraigned on charges of coercing a child “to engage in sexually explicit conduct” in South Carolina. The Juilliard-trained composer was also charged with production and distribution of child pornography.
Registered sex offender Jason James Murphy, 35, worked as a casting agent in Hollywood for years before his past kidnapping and sexual abuse of a boy was revealed by the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 17. Murphy’s credits include placing young actors in kid-friendly fare like "Bad News Bears," "The School of Rock" "Cheaper by the Dozen 2” and the forthcoming "Three Stooges.”
Revelations of this sort come as no surprise to former child star Corey Feldman,
Feldman, 40, himself a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, unflinchingly warned of the world of pedophiles who are drawn to the entertainment industry last August. "I can tell you that the No. 1 problem in Hollywood was and is and always will be pedophilia,” Feldman told ABC’s Nightline. “That's the biggest problem for children in this industry... It's the big secret.”
Another child star from an earlier era agrees that Hollywood has long had a problem with pedophilia. “When I watched that interview, a whole series of names and faces from my history went zooming through my head,” Paul Peterson, 66, star of The Donna Reed Show, a sitcom popular in the 1950s and 60s, and president of A Minor Consideration, tells Foxnews.com “Some of these people, who I know very well, are still in the game.”
“This has been going on for a very long time,” concurs former “Little House on the Prairie” star Alison Arngrim. “It was the gossip back in the ‘80s. People said, ‘Oh yeah, the Coreys, everyone’s had them.’ People talked about it like it was not a big deal.”
Arngrim, 49, was referring to Feldman and his co-star in “The Lost Boys,” Corey Haim, who died in March 2010 after years of drug abuse.
“I literally heard that they were ‘passed around,’” Arngrim said. “The word was that they were given drugs and being used for sex. It was awful – these were kids, they weren’t 18 yet. There were all sorts of stories about everyone from their, quote, ‘set guardians’ on down that these two had been sexually abused and were totally being corrupted in every possible way.”
In fact it is the very nature of a TV or movie set that invites predators, experts tell Fox News.
“A set in Hollywood with children can become a place that attracts pedophiles because the children there may be vulnerable and less tended to,” explains Beverly Hills-based psychotherapist Dr. Jenn Berman. “One thing we know about actors, psychologically speaking, is that they’re people who like a lot of attention. Kids naturally like a lot of attention, and when you put a kid on a set who is unsupervised and getting attention from someone who is powerful, it creates a vulnerability for a very dangerous situation.”
Feldman, who claims he was “surrounded” by pedophiles when he was 14, says the sexual abuse by an unnamed “Hollywood mogul” led to the death of his friend Haim at the age of 38. "That person needs to be exposed, but, unfortunately, I can't be the one to do it," Feldman told Nightline.
“There’s more than one person to blame,” says Arngrim. “I’m sure that it was not just one person who sexually abused Corey Haim, and I’m sure it wasn’t only him and Corey Feldman that knew about it. I’m sure that dozens of people were aware of the situation and chose to not report it.”
Arngrim, a board member and the national spokeswoman for protect.org, an organization that works to protect children from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, says greed in Hollywood allows sexual predators to flourish. “Nobody wants to stop the gravy train,” says Arngrim. “If a child actor is being sexually abused by someone on the show, is the family, agents or managers – the people who are getting money out of this – going to say, ‘OK, let’s press charges’? No, because it’s going to bring the whole show to a grinding halt, and stop all the checks. So, the pressure is there is not to say anything.”
“It’s almost a willing sacrifice that many parents are oblivious to – what kind of environment do they think that they’re pushing their kid into?” said Peterson. “The casting couch is a real thing, and sometimes just getting an appointment makes people do desperate things.”
Arngrim, who revealed her own sexual abuse in her 2010 autobiography, “Confessions of a Prairie Bitch,” explains: “I’ve heard from victims from all over the country. Everyone tells the same kind of story, everyone is told to keep it secret, everyone is threatened with something. Corey Feldman may have opened a can of worms by speaking out, but yes, this does go on.”
Even though Feldman spoke candidly about the abuse, he hasn’t named the predator. “People don’t want to talk about this because they’re afraid for their careers,” says Peterson. “From my perspective, what Corey did was pretty brave. It would be really wonderful if his allegations reached through all of the protective layers and identified the real people who are a part of a worldwide child pornography ring, because it’s huge and it respects no borders, just as it does not respect the age of the children involved.”
Agudath Israel of America
July 22, 2011 Published on Survivors for Justice.
Agudath Israel of America has received several inquiries in the wake of misleading claims that have recently been made about our stance on reporting suspected child abusers to law enforcement authorities. We take the opportunity to clarify our position.
As Torah Jews we live our live our lives in accordance with halacha. The question of whether and under what circumstances one is halachically permitted or required to report to the authorities suspicions of child abuse (including sexual molestation) has attracted the attention of a number of our generation's most prominent rabbinic authorities. Many of their responsa have been collected in the respected Torah journal Yeshurun, Volumes 15 and 22.
As elaborated at a recent Halacha Conference sponsored by Agudath Israel of America, these responsa make clear that when certain standards have been met it is not only permitted but in fact obligatory to report suspicions of abuse or molestation. The general principles that emerge from these responsa are as follows:
1. Where there is "raglayim la'davar" (roughly, reason to believe) that a child has been abused or molested, the matter should be reported to the authorities. In such situations, considerations of "tikun ha'olam" (the halachic authority to take steps necessary to "repair the world"), as well as other halachic concepts, override all other considerations.
2. This halachic obligation to report where there is raglayim la'davar is not dependent upon any secular legal mandate to report. Thus, it is not limited to a designated class of "mandated reporters," as is the law in many states (including New York); it is binding upon anyone and everyone. In this respect, the halachic mandate to report is more stringent than secular law.
3. However, where the circumstances of the case do not rise to the threshold level of raglayim la'davar, the matter should not be reported to the authorities. In the words of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, perhaps the most widely respected senior halachic authority in the world today, "I see no basis to permit" reporting "where there is no raglayim la'davar, but rather only 'eizeh dimyon' (roughly, some mere conjecture); if we were to permit it, not only would that not result in 'tikun ha'olam', it could lead to 'heres haolam' (destruction of the world)." [Yeshurun, Volume 7, page 641.]4. Thus, the question of whether the threshold standard of raglayim la'davar has been met so as to justify (indeed, to require) reporting is critical for halachic purposes. (The secular law also typically establishes a threshold for mandated reporters; in New York, it is "reasonable cause to suspect.") The issue is obviously fact sensitive and must be determined on a case-by-case basis.
5. There may be times when an individual may feel that a report or evidence he has seen rises to the level of raglayim la'davar; and times when he may feel otherwise. Because the question of reporting has serious implications for all parties, and raises sensitive halachic issues, the individual should not rely exclusively on his own judgment to determine the presence or absence of raglayim la'davar. Rather, he should present the facts of the case to a rabbi who is expert in halacha and who also has experience in the area of abuse and molestation - someone who is fully sensitive both to the gravity of the halachic considerations and the urgent need to protect children. (In addition, as Rabbi Yehuda Silman states in one of his responsa [Yeshurun, Volume 15, page 589], "of course it is assumed that the rabbi will seek the advice of professionals in the field as may be necessary.") It is not necessary to convene a formal bais din (rabbinic tribunal) for this purpose, and the matter should be resolved as expeditiously as possible to minimize any chance of the suspect continuing his abusive conduct while the matter is being considered.
If for example, these boys were being raped, they would want you to stop reading this and call the police right away.
Article Source: The Onion- Sat Dec 3, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA—In the wake of the sex abuse scandal that rocked Penn State earlier this month, a coalition of 10-year-old boys from across the nation held a press conference Saturday outside Beaver Stadium, home of college football's Nittany Lions, to remind Americans that if they see someone raping a prepubescent boy, they should contact the police immediately.
"Considering that the monstrous acts perpetrated by Jerry Sandusky went unreported for years, even after a fellow coach saw him raping a 10-year-old boy inside the facility behind me, we feel perhaps not everyone is totally clear on what to do if one witnesses such a thing," said spokesperson Joshua Pearson, who was flanked by several of his fifth-grade colleagues. "Many of you will no doubt be relieved to know the proper course of action is really quite simple: Just contact the police. Call 911, go to your local precinct, stop an officer on the street—the bottom line is, if you see one of us getting raped, notify the police, and do so as quickly as possible."
"It doesn't matter who the boy being raped is, and it doesn't matter who is doing the raping, just please, please alert law enforcement," Pearson added as the 10-year-old boys surrounding him nodded soberly. "And by the way, under no circumstances is it ever okay for an adult to rape a 10-year-old boy, so you really can't go wrong by calling the police when something like that happens."
Pearson fielded several questions from reporters, such as whether it is okay, when one sees a boy being raped, to wait until after lunch before contacting police, or if it is acceptable to simply inform the rapist in a firm tone that what he is doing is wrong and then leave it at that. The 10-year-old confirmed neither course of action was adequate.
Additionally, Pearson attempted to clear up any confusion as to whether an individual should contact the police even if he or she has been personally acquainted with the rapist for many years."We understand the delicacy of the situation when the person committing the rape is a coworker or otherwise someone you know quite well, but as 10-year-old boys with very few ways of protecting ourselves, we still have to insist that you go to the police," Pearson said. "While we appreciate your reporting such acts to a supervisor at work or a trusted clergy member, unfortunately that may not be enough, and it is not the most responsible course of action. As the sad events at Penn State have taught us, there is no way to guarantee the highly important boy-raping information will reach the proper authorities unless you deliver it yourself.
"So, to reiterate: If you ever see a 10-year-old boy being raped—by anyone, at any time, even if it's a Sunday afternoon—it is very, very important that you go directly to the police and clearly explain what you saw, remembering to identify the person who was doing the raping," Pearson continued.According to Pearson, even if one merely suspects he or she has seen a 10-year-old boy being raped, but is not absolutely certain, it is still a good idea to play it safe and allow police investigators to sort out the situation. "Wouldn't you be left with egg on your face if that little boy was actually being raped and you didn't tell the police!" said Pearson, drawing a big laugh from the gathered crowd.The nation's 10-year-olds unanimously echoed Pearson's sentiments, imploring people to contact police not only when they see prepubescent boys being raped, but, in fact, when they see anyone at all being raped, in any context."Certainly, if you were to see me being raped, I would want you to call the police—I'm a 10-year-old boy who couldn't possibly give my consent, or even fully grasp the horror of what was happening to me," Sioux Falls, SD resident Nick Kealey, 10, said between games of Mario Kart DS.
"What's really at issue here is the act of rape itself. So, yes, if you see a 10-year-old boy like me being raped, by all means, call the police. But don't just walk on by if you see, say, a teenage girl being raped in a locker room, or even a full-grown man being raped in an alleyway. These are also situations in which you should definitely call the police, and right away.""Seeing any person get raped at any time, even just once, is more than enough reason to contact the police," Kealey added. "I can't stress that enough."Following Saturday's announcement, police stations around the country reported a flood of incoming phone calls.
Newly-religious women walking around covered head-to-toe in black clothes are growing in numbers. Even six-year-old girls are made to hide their faces. Haredi rabbis finally condemn growing trend.
By Akiva Noveck, first published: 02.06.11.
They arrive there every morning, girls aged six to 10 covered head to toe, their faces hidden behind a veil similar to a hijab. They enter an apartment at the center of Jerusalem, which serves as their school.
Hundreds of people see them walk by, including Education Ministry employees who work nearby. Somehow, though, they never seem to do anything about it.So far, one has only heard of "Taliban mothers," haredi women covered head to toe, including a headscarf, much like Afghani women living under Taliban rule. But now one finds little girls too, the daughters of these "Taliban mothers," walking around outdoors in full body coverage.Since no haredi school is willing to let these girls in, they go to improvised schools in Beit Shemesh and Jerusalem founded especially for them by their mothers. Needless to say these schools and the curriculum are not supervised by the Education Ministry.
This phenomenon has raised many eyebrows within the haredi community. "Taliban women" and their daughters are outcasts on haredi streets. They encounter looks of disgust, bullying and constant humiliation.
M., a member of the anti-Zionist Hasidic movement Toldos Aharon, lives in Jerusalem. He said he has seen young men come up to these women trying to pull off their head covers.
"There are guys who will approach a woman and say things like: 'You look like a suicide bomber' or 'I guess your face is ugly if you keep it hidden.' There are also those who spit on them and curse at them, or just badger them with cameras so they'll run away."
'Back to sacred custom'
The fact that most of the "Taliban women" are newly-religious does not help either. "It's unacceptable that that the newly-religious will tell us that our women aren't modest and good enough," a senior haredi businessman explained.
It does make sense however that these women are newly-religious. Extremism is very common amongst people who change their lifestyle in a radical manner, from a secular life to a religious one and vise-versa.
"Similar to those who search for meaning in their lives or feel lost and seek help, these girls are inspired by a dominant figure," said a father of a newly-religious girl who now belongs to a cult. "I personally feel that in both cases it's a matter of exploiting weaknesses, but ultimately my daughter is happy and pleased with the life she has chosen, so I have to accept it."
His daughter, however, sees nothing wrong with her unusual appearance. "I think that seculars, who are used to seeing girls dressed in minimal clothing, are the weird ones," she said. "As far as I'm concerned, I'm following the rules of modesty which are also meant to save men from themselves. A man who sees a woman's body parts is sexually aroused, and this might cause him to commit sin. Even if he doesn't actually sin physically, his impure thoughts are sin in themselves."
But what about little girls? Why do 6-year-olds need to walk around covered head-to-toe? "There are enough men who look at them as sexual objects. Such values must be taught at an early age," she explained.
Husbands of the "Taliban women" usually accept the way their wives dress. "Some of them do it out of weakness and lack of choice, others claim they put up with it because of a higher calling and purity. I think they are simply weak. If we're being honest, haredi men are not involved with what goes on at home. They spend most of their days in their yeshivot."
This past weekend the discourse surrounding "Taliban women" has extended beyond the religious community. Following repeated complaints from both religious and secular residents in Beit Shemesh, who encounter the covered girls on a daily basis, the National Council for the Child has requested the Welfare Ministry to look into the matter and make sure this behavior is not harmful to the girls.
"We don’t want to intervene with their style of clothing or education," said the council's director Dr. Yitzhak Kadman. "However it's our job to check whether these kids are being harmed in any way. If you recall, the known "Taliban mother" incident proves that an extreme lifestyle can also be harmful to the children."
The ultra-Orthodox "Jewish Taliban" cult is one of the most extreme groups ever established in Israel. Established over six years ago, when haredi women tried to fight immodesty in Israel, the group's members decided to wear a robe covering their bodies from the shoulders down.
This cult now has hundreds of members all over the country. Their motto is clear: Cover up as much as you can in the name of modesty.
This initiative was received positively by many haredi circles and was even accompanied by an enthusiastic letter of support signed by Badatz rabbis, the ultra-Orthodox court of justice, and Eda Haredit leader Rabbi Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss.
Slowly but surely more women began joining the cult, covering their heads so only their faces were showing. This turned into a popular trend and in the past three years has turned into full face coverage.
"It all started with three women who covered their entire bodies," said a senior haredi businessman. "Then eight more joined in Jerusalem and 12 in Beit Shemesh, almost all of them newly-religious. Together with their daughters they are a group of about a 100 women. The rest of the 'cult' members expose their faces, and consist of roughly 500 women."
Gradually these girls dropped out or were taken out of haredi schools, prompting the cult women to form their own school system. There are about four schools in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh.
Film director Anat Zuria ("Purity", "Sentenced to Marriage") has encountered these "Taliban women" while working on one of her films. "Many of them were newly-religious," she said. "They talked about returning to our modest roots, dressing like our mothers from past generations."
The infamous "Taliban mother" who was accused of abusing her seven children also talked to Zuria. "On one occasion she wasn't allowed to speak. She communicated by making sounds. It was surreal. There sits a grown woman making sounds like a dolphin."
This quickly spreading phenomenon upsets the haredi community even more than the rest of the public, because of the basic haredi perception which rules out any changes in clothing, language or lifestyle. According to tradition, the Israelites survived the slavery in Egypt because they "did not alter the way they dress" therefore the dress code cannot be changed even today.
"We can accept young girls who returned to their faith as long as they accept the rules and speak Yiddish," said the businessman. "What worked for our fathers for hundreds of years still works today, and no newly-religious person can change that."
Covered even at home
This anger rapidly turned into real actions of protest against the cult. Thousands of fliers signed by rabbis were posted on the streets.
A Neturei Karta delegation approached haredi rabbis and presented them with findings regarding the "Taliban women." They said these women refused to have sexual intercourse with their husbands or take off their head covers even when they walk around the house or in the mikveh. They were even rumored to forbid contact between brothers and sisters.
The rabbis were convinced. Religious neighborhoods all over Israel were filled with harsh letters condemning the cult. "You must beware not to dress in odd and peculiar clothing (including veils), especially if the husband is against it, because it's also against halacha. All the more so these changes should not be applied in cases of young girls", they wrote.
The same rabbis who once praised the veils, now realize the situation has gotten out of hand. Recently signatures of 13 more rabbis from Beit Shemesh were added to a petition protesting the new dress code.
However, this is more than just another haredi dispute. As this phenomenonis exposed, including the fact that dozens of young girls are forced to cover their bodies from head to toe when leaving the house by their mothers, it is time for the State and welfare authorities to take a closer look at what is really going on with "Taliban women."