Thursday, October 31, 2013

New Lebovits Revelation As Retrial Nears

Jewish Week    A “notorious” alleged chasidic sex abuser, who was sentenced to up to 32 years in jail but got that verdict overturned because of a prosecution violation, has all but admitted on tape to sexually abusing the young man who testified against him, The Jewish Week has learned.

The tape, according to police documents, was made under the supervision of NYPD Det. Steve Litwin in September 2008 and captures a secretly recorded conversation between Baruch Lebovits and one of his alleged victims. The tape was translated from the Yiddish — both apparently informally and by a certified translator — into English for the prosecution.

It was not, however, introduced at Lebovits’ 2010 trial. (Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes has pledged to retry Lebovits and his next court date is scheduled for Nov. 19.)

Multiple e-mails to Hynes’ spokespeople seeking an explanation for why the tape was not used at trial, and whether it will be used in the upcoming retrial, were not answered.

During the recorded conversation, a transcript of which was obtained by The Jewish Week, the victim alerts Lebovits to the fact that others, including someone in Assemblyman Dov Hikind’s office, had heard that something “happened between us.” [...]

And along with these setbacks was the arrest in 2011 of Sam Kellner, the father of the third alleged Lebovits victim (the misdemeanor case). Kellner was indicted a year after Lebovits’ conviction and charged with having attempted to use emissaries to extort the Lebovits family and paying the witness who dropped out of the case to fabricate his charges against Lebovits.

In a series of articles over the past year, The Jewish Week has highlighted the numerous weaknesses in the district attorney’s case against Kellner, including credible evidence that Kellner was framed in order to cast doubt on Lebovits’ conviction. (Kellner’s trial, which has been postponed several times by the district attorney in what Kellner’s lawyers have characterized as a strategy to delay the case past Tuesday’s general election for district attorney, is set for Nov. 12.) [...]

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