Sunday, October 2, 2011

Nachlaot pedophile ring - parents' overinvolvement unwittingly interfered with legal case

The story of the pedophile network in Nahlaot exploded in August, with the arrest of four suspects. One of them had already been arrested several months earlier and subsequently released. S., who was arrested two weeks ago, was the fifth suspect, and the parents hoped that this was the start of a solution to the major crisis they had experienced. But this month, attorney Shlomit Ben-Yitzhak, of the Jerusalem District Prosecutors' Office, submitted indictments in the affair, and the parents discovered that their hopes had been dashed: Indictments were submitted only against two of those involved - B. and P. And although the indictments describe sodomy, indecent assaults and rape, they refer to only five children. Even the most skeptical of those involved in the investigation and in the welfare agencies admit that that number is only a small percentage of the attacks. The police themselves have interrogated over 40 children.[...]

Someone close to the investigation claims that the reason for the huge gap between the parents' stories and the harsh testimony on the one hand, and the legal outcome on the other, is the activity of the parents themselves. The parents, he says, unwittingly interfered with the investigation process. The conversations and "investigations" that they conducted with their own children undermined the reliability of the stories the children then told the juvenile investigators. There are parents who even showed their children pictures of the suspects so the children could identify them, an activity that invalidated their testimony. For their part, the parents stress the fact that they have cooperated with the authorities from the beginning. Many of them are ultra-Orthodox, but as opposed to the usual stereotype of this religious community, they did not hide anything, described what their children had told them without mincing words, and encouraged their children to talk. Only afterward, they say, did they discover that the problem was not a lack of cooperation, but on the contrary - their great desire to eliminate the problem.


  1. This whole "story" sounds like another typical Haarets bubbe maisa based on "anonymous sources".

  2. It seems that the Chareidim can never win the battle of public opinion. Whatever they do is always portrayed as wrong!

    If they DON'T get involved, they're accused of neglecting their children and by default encouraging pedophelia.

    If they DO get involved, and try to protect their children and get the pedophiles off the streets, they get slammed for being involved to an extreme.

  3. Sad Yerushalmi said...

    It seems that the Chareidim can never win the battle of public opinion. Whatever they do is always portrayed as wrong!
    this is not a battle of public opinion. It is a question of handling children who may have been victims. Well meaning parents should not be conducting the investigation since they are not properly trained.

    It is very easy to mess up valid testimony by an improper investigation. It is another reason why untrained rabbis and educators are also not qualified to make judgments in these matters.

    Implanted memories have destroyed innocent lives

  4. Implanted memories have indeed destroyed lives, as R. Eidensohn said, of the innocent wrongly accused of abuse. But it should be noted that implanted memories have been perpetrated by police, prosecutors, and District Attorneys. There was many famous such cases. The Wall Street Journal exposed such a prominent case a while back.

    Good reason to never accept a child's statement at face value. (Which is in fact the Torah's view of child testimony as well.)

  5. Good reason to never accept a child's statement at face value. (Which is in fact the Torah's view of child testimony as well.)
    While the Torah doesn't accept the testimony of women and children but that is not halacha l'maaseh in these cases. Their testimony is in fact utilized by beis din in their determinations.

    However it is not the child's testimony which is a problem it is the children's testimony after being improperly questioned or prompted which is the issue.

  6. It is terrible that Haaretz is blaming the victimized parents.

    The parents have done the best they can. It is not their fault that they did not know the technical legal aspects of how to talk to their child.

    This case is history in the making, that the Nachlaot community is standing up on behalf of the children and siding against the pedophiles. A real kiddish H.


  7. Unfortunately the Haaretz article got several things wrong. Several of the suspects are still on house arrest. The investigation is still on going.

    Some of the suspects already have prior convictions for the same thing.

  8. A third suspect was indicted just a few hours ago.

  9. This makes no since. There is no way, in America, that prosecutors would refuse to even pursue the conviction of a likely child molester just because there is a possibility of some inconsistent testimony. If there are inconsistencies, let the defense attorneys point that out at trial (if it is admissible)! To me, as an American lawyer, this does not sound like proper prosecutorial conduct -- there has to be some way to proceed with the conviction, given they believe the suspects are truly guilty of at least some crimes.


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