Friday, March 7, 2014

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Arrest Of Brooklyn Rabbi For Distributing Child Pornography

This article describes accusations however the accusations could also have resulted from having an unsecured wifi and someone else using it to download pornography. There is no mention that pornography was actually found on his computer. Furthermore the charge of distribution could also be the result of the use peer to peer sharing networks where the mere fact that something is downloaded means that computer also is sharing and distributing to others. In other words, even if his IP address was involved it doesn't mean that he was guilty as charged and he in fact denies the charges

Justice    Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and James T. Hayes, Jr., the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (“ICE”) Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), announced today the arrest of SAMUEL WALDMAN for distributing child pornography. WALDMAN, 52, a rabbi and a teacher at a girl’s seminary, was arrested by HSI agents this morning at his residence in Brooklyn, New York. He was presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge James L. Cott in Manhattan federal court.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Samuel Waldman’s position of trust in the community, as both a rabbi and a teacher, makes his alleged distribution of child pornography all the more disturbing. As we have said repeatedly, we have zero tolerance for the exploitation of children and we will prosecute and punish those who engage in this conduct.”

ICE HSI Special Agent-in-Charge James T. Hayes, Jr. said: “Distributing child pornography is a serious crime made all the more disturbing when committed by an individual who has been implicitly entrusted as an educator. Through Operation Caireen, HSI New York and our partners will target individuals who abuse their positions of trust in our communities by committing crimes of sexual exploitation against children.”

According to the allegations in the criminal Complaint filed today in Manhattan federal court, in or about November 2013, WALDMAN distributed child pornography over the Internet by making available for downloading through file-sharing software multiple videos depicting minors engaged in sexual acts [...]

20 comments :

  1. Waldman is son in law of Torah Temimah's Rabbi Yankel Applegrad who looked into ABC's camera on national television to claim "at no time was there any molestation" in the yeshiva by Kolko or anyone else. (Convicted molester Yisroel Weingarten and a third menuval also worked there at one time).

    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/03/05/brooklyn-rabbi-teacher-charged-with-distributing-child-pornography/

    According to the CBS 2 report, agents went to Waldman's house after tracing his computer and Applegrad's daughter told them she knows about his illegal porn habit.

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  2. Isn't this the same guy who wrote "beyond a reasonable doubt"? I guess he created his own God, and then decided that child pornography is OK...

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  3. What about the fact that Waldman's kiruv sefer is distributed by Oorah & many other orgs? It bears the haskomos of Rabbis Belsky, Salomon, Shmuel Kaminetzky & his rebbe R' Reuvein Feinstein.

    Waldman was MASHGIACH RUCHNI for many years of the Belle Harbor yeshiva.

    Applegrad is mechutonim by the way with the infamous Moish Finkel of treif infamy.

    Defending Waldman as innocent to NBC 4 last night was Yitz "Leo" Eckstein, an executive of Pirchei Agudas Yisroel, who is friends with Applegrad's boss Lipa Margulies.

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  4. The author of Beyond A Reasonable Doubt? Are you sure it's the same person?

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  5. Oh stop it! So now we are guilty by association? -- Because someone is related to some lowlife that automatically makes him a criminal? Get real! Think before you post. Have you checked all your relatives, blood other kind, to see if you meet the 'criteria' you just set?
    While I find the charge to be a little flimsy, as they can only show that an account linked to his name allowed others to download and not him, it should wake us up to the seriousness of this type of crime.
    I also find it hard to accept that he would be knowledgeable enough to 1) operate the shared application such as the Torrent software UTorrent, BitTorrent etc when he can barely operate his email account.

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  6. While this is surely a bad thing, there is still some place to be "dan lekaf zechut".

    The general public is not aware of this, but "distributing" in this and other such cases can really be simply DOWNLOADING it via a peer-to-peer client such as BitTorrent. See here. Since the way the software works is that downloaders are simultaneously uploading, and also files in shared folder are accessible for others to download until you move it out, they can target someone for "distribution".

    That certainly is what this quote sounds like:
    Prosecutors alleged that Waldman has been downloading child pornography for several years, and sharing it through peer-to-peer networks before deleting it to cover his tracks.

    So distribution sounds like he was manufacturing or deliberately distributing to a bunch of people. And the quotes match this misperception, I think deliberately: “Distributing child pornography is a serious crime made all the more disturbing when committed by an individual who has been implicitly entrusted as an educator. Through Operation Caireen, HSI New York and our partners will target individuals who abuse their positions of trust in our communities by committing crimes of sexual exploitation against children.”

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    1. So the distribution may have been accidental. That doesn't explain what the files were doing on his computer.

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    2. indeed. I wasn't TRYING to make any other point that downloading is not the same as distribution. I wasn't saying that he was a lamed-vav-nik.

      But. X is not as bad as Y, and if so, the quotes above are (deliberately?) misleading.

      it is quite possible, by the way, to accidentally d/l child porn. I don't know HOW likely. but e.g. if it was mis-titled (deliberately to deflect authorities) as some other sort of pornography.

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    3. True, but either way it doesn't come out looking too good for him. Besides, from the complaint it doesn't sound like he denied downloading the content, and even if he didn't intend for it to be child pornography, adult pornography, to put it nicely, isn't exactly befitting for the author of "Beyond A Reasonable Doubt", or for anybody for that matter. Is it the same Shmuel Waldman? And even if you may wish to be melamed zechus, thatthe whole matter was accidental (e.g. pop-ups or something like that), shouldn't a standard internet filter help for that? Just because you are a Rabbi doesn't mean that you don't need any internet safeguards. Personally, I don't see why people make a big fuss about installing filters- Any sites that I regularly use are white-listed, and my wife is the only one with the password to let me watch youtube clips that are posted on DT. (I know that some people here probably wonder why she even lets me watch those clips :) )

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  7. to be fair (maybe we shouldn't be fair, but...) he is not accused of anything with his teaching job. the media savvy prosecutor would heve mentioned it, if it were so.

    this guy seems to have had too many jobs. and if he chamged from boys yeshivot to a bais Yaakov, it indicates a: they were aware of this , and hired him as not being interested in girls, and b: they were perpetuating the pattern of dont ask, don't tell.

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  8. I also just googled this type of Indictment and found that quite a few people have been 'nabbed' by this 'phony' detective work. While I commend the HSI group for what their stated goal is, I am suspect that their methods and preconceived notions as to who the real law breakers are not on par with 21st century computing.
    This I got with a 5 minute Google search! The Associated Press found that there are many people (who are not computer savy) that inadvertently download software from a peer-to-peer application and the application 'shares' other content as well.
    See similar cases:
    User Admitted to downloading legal porn yet had some illegal download as well.
    http://www.nj.com/middlesex/index.ssf/2014/01/elizabeth_music_teacher_from_edison_charged_with_downloading_sharing_child_porn.html
    Google associated press article on the same subject and you will see that they showed that many prosecuted never even downloaded to begin with.

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  9. One Big Happy FamilyMarch 7, 2014 at 2:07 AM

    Moshe Finkels Uncle, is Rabbi Gavriel Finkel who Heads Bais Din Vaad Hadayonim in Lakewood and runs the KCL Kashrus orginization in Lakewood under the auspecies of his Nephew Rav Malkiel Kotler (R' Gavriel Finkel sister "Mrs Rivka Tikotzky nee:Finkel" is Rav Malkiel Kotlers Mother In Law)

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  10. 1. It is hard to accidentally download child pornography. Even adult pornography requires passing through a check box confirming your age and the kind of stuff you are viewing. Child pornography is not made avaible easily. You usually have to participate in private networks to access it. Legitimate outlets go to great lengths to keep it off their sites for fear of legal liability.

    2. This is not a question of his being either heterosexual or homosexual in orientation. His viewing included sexual abuse of pre-pubescent boys and girls.

    See my post for more details on this case:

    http://frumfollies.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/rabbi-shmuel-waldman-who-teaches-at-bais-yaacov-arrested-for-child-pornography/

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  11. I find no mention that any porn was found on his computer.

    The fact that the IP number in question location is associated with his address, doesn't mean that all activity from that IP number came from his house. It could be that he has an unsecure Wifi system, and someone in his neighborhood has been using it for illegal purposes. [This has happened more than once, and a story like this was reported in the media several months ago].

    The so called "admissions" are not from the defendant, rather from the "witness", who shares the same last name.

    Who says that the witness didn't make this up for some reason?

    Maybe the "witness" herself was doing the watching/downloading, and now Rabbi Waldman is taking the blame? Should he be "moser" her in order to save his skin?

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    1. The fact that the IP number in question location is associated with his address, doesn't mean that all activity from that IP number came from his house. It could be that he has an unsecure Wifi system, and someone in his neighborhood has been using it for illegal purposes.

      This actually happened to a client of mine. So it can happen. Whether that is the case here, I cannot say.

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    2. Excellent points!
      BTW i know this yid [rs waldman] for over 30 years, & i tell you all, that its very very hard to belieive he's guilty...
      let us all be dan likaf zechus. [just as rde wrote about -being dan lk' zchus in another article]

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  12. to: dan Lekaf zechus
    Are you trading dan lekaf zchus for Motzei shem ra?

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  13. Dan Lekaf ZechusMarch 9, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    It is not my intent to be "motzee shem ra" on anybody.

    I'm just pointing out, that we shouldn't be hasty to condemn R' Waldman in the courtrooms of our minds.

    I've offered reasonable alternative explanations as to what might have actually happened, and I hope that everything turns out for the best.

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  14. It turns out that there are two Rabbi Yankel Applegrads who are related to each other. Waldman is apparently not married to the daughter of the one from Torah Temimah. Waldman's shver is more than a decade older than the more familiar Yankel Applegrad.

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  15. So basicely you are saying that both moshe Finkel and Rav Malkiel Kotler Share the same Uncle (Rabbi Gavriel Finkel)

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