Thursday, September 15, 2011

How to protect your children against abusers that the police & rabbis won't deal with

I recently received a request for how to deal with a person who abuses children by inappropriate touch - but there is not sufficient proof for the police to arrest him. The person thus is a danger - but falls through the cracks of the system. Neither the police or the rabbis want to deal with it. What is needed is a way for communities to be able to share information about such people both for protection and possibly building sufficient evidence for arrest. It is also helpful if such people could be pressured to go to therapy.
 Concerned Parent wrote:

What does one do when a parent (or a number of parents) know of an abuser but do not have sufficient evidence for the rabbanim or police to pursue the issue?  On one hand, there is clearly a need for the community to awaken to this issue and be much more proactive.  On the other hand, a "wild west" type of justice is also not going to work.  We are dealing with this situation now, having already been declined by both the police and area rabbinic leaders. We have notified certain parents with young children to be wary of the suspect.  Is there anything else that can be done?  He is not a teacher or hold another position that allows him access to children.  He is something of wanderer nebach type that naturally engenders rachmanus which gets him invited into people's homes.

Thanks for any feedback


  1. I'd like to add on...
    It seems that such individuals tend to wander from one community to the next, perhaps after suspicions are raised about them. So you could have someone that touched 2 children in Flatbush, 2 in Baltimore, 3 in Yerushalayim etc. But the abused was never enough in any one community to really get noticed. So there would need to be a way to share info across communities, without, as I said just letting loose and destroying people's reputation.

    the asker

  2. "but there is not sufficient proof for the police to arrest him."

    Then perhaps he is innocent. (Especially considering that the police don't even need proof to make an arrest. All they need is reasonable suspicion. If you are lacking even that little, you are probably falsely accusing an innocent man.)

    This sounds like the typical case of someone being falsely accused of molestation and the like.

  3. Essentially, there is nothing to be done.

    Unless you want to be the one arrested and incarcerated.

  4. Joseph,
    Maasim b'chol yom that the police fail to arrest guilty people. But in any case, if we can imagine a case where the parent knows with certainty that they are correct, what should they do? How should they protect YOUR children?

    The asker

  5. You need the victims to come forward and file a police report. The police and DA will take it from there. Without actual victims who are willing to testify, there is nothing the police can do.

  6. We as a whole are better off if the abuser isn't forced out of the community where they know his history. Then one can be on guard. However, I can't possibly fault the parent who risks someone else's child rather than have a neighbor or shulmate who is dangerous to their own kids.

    When there is a known risk, one can say "Moshele, I don't trust Reb Ploni. If he wants to talk to you, give you presents, be your friend, let me know."

    An instruction that specific will be far more effective than our general "don't take candy from strangers" talk, as the child doesn't have to assess "is he a stranger". He will be wary of the particular person. And it doesn't even require saying what it is you think the guy does; just that mommy and daddy think he may be one of the bad guys. "I don't trust him, if he tries to talk to you, leave and let me know."

    Is it perfect protection? Far from it. But it is doable, and will protect more children than pushing the guy to flee to another community.

  7. Recipients and PublicitySeptember 16, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    This is probably the most common situation. The main reason being that the nature of MOST these abusers is that they are most often very shrewd and calculating and cunningly calculate the odds of being caught. They are the masters of the art of hidden sexual seduction and have a character disorder similar to psychopaths and sociopaths basically meaning they have no guilt or inner morals at all.

    You have to know your "enemy" here and what you are up against. And one needs to be on the lookout and "fight" them with almost secret agent methods to catch them.

    It takes effort and in the meantime parents must take care not to allow themselves to be counter-trapped by the abusers into being accused of "mesira" if they go to the rabbonim or police first. It is truly a very bedeviling situation, and it calls for shrewdness and determination. There are other ways to ruin the reputations and make the lives of abusers miserable and they will get the message that their "crime does not pay"!

    Most abusers are exactly like confidence tricksters. They are out to fool people, spot weak targets just like all predators in the animal kingdom do, they prey on peoples' trust and aim to get "free licks" for their sexual desires without getting caught and they know better than anyone else how not to be nailed by either parents, victims, the authorities. The last thing they want is being caught, reported to the police and go to jail. They are usually big cowards too and they definitely do not play by any rules while they know how to break all the rules and not be caught.

    If a few parents are involved, then someone with good LEADERSHIP QUALITIES should take the initiative and plan to form a little "action committee" but with exclusive membership. Only people who will not reveal the workings of the secret group should be allowed to join. Then quietly they should discuss the problems that are obviously known to them and decide on a VERY CAREFULLY thought out plan of action about how to BRING DOWN the abuser/s in question. Nothing illegal should be done of course!

    It is a MUST to try to make use of MODERN TECHNOLOGY. Plant a mini microphone on a kid getting abused, try to get voice or picture or video recordings of misdeeds for evidence. THAT IS THE WAY PERVERT LEIB TROPPER WAS FORCED TO RESIGN AND THE RABBONIM COULD DO NOTHING ABOUT IT! This is the 21st century and it can be done if one has the will.

    It is NOT illegal to record a crime in action, that is why banks and many institutions and entire cities have surveillance cameras. It's how Leiby Kletsky's murder was solved, someone pieced together video surveillance from stores on the street he walked down on the day he was abducted by a pervert!

    It is like planning a secret mission to bring down an emotional "Bin Laden" who hides in "caves" and thinks he/she can get away with the worst crimes against humanity just because they are hidden, look "frum" on the outside, and say all the right things, but their victims know who they are and are determined to shut them down once and for all.

    If you can't do this on your own, then maybe think of hiring a private investigator who will do this, if you can afford it, or maybe a group could pay for it if the situation is really bad. PIs are private individuals and report to you only and are not part of the police.

  8. "...when a parent (or a number of parents) know of an abuser but do not have sufficient evidence for the rabbanim or police to pursue the issue..."

    If you asked your rabbi first, then no wonder you think there is not sufficient evidence. And if parents and children won't file a complaint, no wonder the police can't help. All you have to do is go down to the police and make a complaint and they are required to make an investigation. Daas Torah stated at the top of this article that there had been inappropriate touching, and if so, that is a violation of the law, so the police have to do something, unless the witnesses refuse to work with the police or don't know enough, like who exactly the man is.

    If you don't know who he is, find out, and then put up posters very clearly describing his tactics or identify him by photo if possible, and let people know "to keep children away from this man" and to contact you if there are other victims.

  9. More from the world of misguided religious fanaticism:

    Police Arrest Amish Men In Kentucky Who Refused To Put Safety Signs On Buggies

    Nine Amish were sentenced to jail in Kentucky for breaking a state law that requires them to put orange signs on their horse-drawn buggies

  10. There is nothing wrong with religious 'zeal-ism' as long as you don't think you are above the law (that requires an orange sign...or reporting of child molesters.)


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