Saturday, March 8, 2014

Judge Dismisses Charges Against Whistle-Blower in Sexual Abuse Case

NY Times   In a case that riveted the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, a judge on Friday dismissed all charges against Samuel Kellner, a whistle-blower who had been charged with trying to extort money from the family of an accused molester and bribing a grand jury witness to testify falsely.

The dismissal came at the request of prosecutors, who told Justice Guy J. Mangano in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn that the case against Mr. Kellner had fallen apart. The two key witnesses against him “lack credibility to such a degree that their testimony cannot be trusted,” an assistant district attorney, Kevin O’Donnell, told the court, adding, “The people do not have a credible case.” [...]

But there was still a cloud of uncertainty over Mr. Kellner’s freedom. Two lawyers for Mr. Lebovits, Arthur L. Aidala and Alan M. Dershowitz, the prominent lawyer and author, conferred with prosecutors and the judge for about an hour before the case’s dismissal. Mr. Dershowitz later told reporters that he believed an audiotape turned over by the district attorney on Thursday contained evidence against Mr. Kellner that would cause his case to be reopened. “This case is not over,” Mr. Dershowitz said, prompting a shouting match with Kellner supporters. [...]

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