Friday, May 23, 2014

Indictments in 3 coerced divorces

NY Times   When several rabbis and ultra-Orthodox men were accused in October of being a part of a ring that kidnapped and tortured Jewish husbands who refused to grant divorces to their wives, the top federal prosecutor in New Jersey said the number of victims might run into the dozens.

But the authorities would not discuss any of those cases. Initially, the charges against the accused kidnappers were based only on an F.B.I. operation involving an undercover agent who posed as a wife wanting to leave a deteriorating marriage. In headline-grabbing detail, court papers described how the agent infiltrated a world of “special rabbis” willing to authorize the torture of recalcitrant husbands until they agreed to a divorce, which under Jewish law cannot occur without the man’s consent.

On Thursday afternoon, after months of investigation, an indictment was unsealed in Trenton that bluntly detailed three actual kidnappings that preceded the operation. The indictment charges five men, including the accused ringleader who was arrested after the operation, Mendel Epstein, of Brooklyn. Among the other defendants are one of his sons, David Epstein; a rabbi who presides over a yeshiva in Monsey, N.Y., Martin Wolmark; and two other men. [...]


  1. What is new here? (Except for unnamed third case).

    Perhaps the third case was not noteworthy for nytimes. Copy of court papers, plz.

    What about those that hired these thugs?

  2. The court papers are available online on the Department of Justice website. A google search can produce them.



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