Wednesday, July 10, 2013

D.A. Hynes case against abuse whistleblower Kellner - blows up in his face

Jewish Week  On the eve of his scheduled trial date, prosecutors turned over to Sam Kellner’s defense attorneys evidence that appears highly damaging to Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’ case against the chasidic sex abuse whistleblower, prompting his lawyers to call for an “outside investigation.”

Kellner, a resident of Borough Park, is charged with paying a witness — a man The Jewish Week refers to as a “Yoel” — to fabricate claims of sexual abuse by Baruch Lebovits, a cantor and prominent member of the Munkacs chasidic community. Kellner, whose son is also an alleged Lebovits victim — and who brought additional Lebovits victims to the police — is also charged with attempting to extort money from the Lebovits family via emissaries sent to Lebovits’ son Meyer.
The evidence, which was turned over last Friday, three days before the scheduled start of the trial on Monday, July 8, includes notes of interviews prosecutors conducted with a key witness over the past two weeks. In the interviews, Yoel made a series of inconsistent statements, including some that directly contradict his grand jury testimony against Kellner.

For example, while Yoel testified in the Kellner grand jury that he knew Lebovits from synagogue, in a July 1 interview with Nicholas Batsidis and Joseph Alexis, two assistant district attorneys, and Rackets Division Chief Michael Vecchione, he claimed that he had “never seen Baruch Lebovits in his life.”
In the same interview, Yoel also denied picking Lebovits out of a photo array, which, along with Yoel’s statements to a detective, led to Lebovits’ arrest. However, five days earlier, on June 26, he told prosecutors that Lebovits “could have molested me. [I] can’t really say.”
During the course of these interviews, Yoel also told prosecutors that the reason he came forward with his allegations against Kellner was because, according to their summary of the conversation, he had become “disenchanted” with him after Kellner failed to pay him “a fee that the two had agreed upon for his false testimony.” However, in the Kellner grand jury, Yoel testified that Kellner gave him approximately $10,000 to testify against Lebovits.

All of the inconsistencies and contradictions in Yoel’s statements seriously undermine the prosecution’s case against Kellner, experts say.

1 comment :

  1. Sof davar HAKOL NISHMA, veHAEMES meEretz Titzmach, although for the time being, it is tief in der erd.


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