Thursday, April 7, 2016

Mendel Epstein: Videos of evidence regarding torture to obtain Get

Crime Watch Daily

It's certainly not the first time that New York's been cursed by mob violence. But a current plague of beatdowns and intimidation is festering in a place you wouldn't expect: the orthodox Jewish community, a society that operates outside of the mainstream and lives by its own rules and laws.

One of those laws most controversial to outsiders? An orthodox woman can be granted a divorce only when her husband allows it. She has to convince him to sign a document called a "get" to release her from marital vows. A vindictive husband can use it to make life for his ex-wife miserable.

"Without a 'get,' she's a chained woman," said Robert Stahl, attorney for Rabbi Mendel Epstein. "She is not allowed in the orthodox community to date, to remarry. If she did, her children would be considered 'mamzers,' which means, basically, bastards."

Community pressure or a stern letter from a rabbi will usually get a husband to come around. When those tactics don't work, there are other solutions, and they come right out of the bloodiest books of the Old Testament.

It's called a "forced get," and it can range from simple scare tactics to heartless violence.

And there's one man who can arrange it all for you: Rabbi Mendel Epstein, a respected religious leader and advocate for women in Jewish courts. And he's more than happy to help a client whose sister has a deadbeat husband.

The good rabbi will provide another service, if you know what to ask for.

"You understand what we're talking about is some strategic planning, you know, using a nice word," Epstein says on a recording made by two undercover FBI agents.

First comes a formal sit-down in Epstein's office. But when Epstein talks about getting the divorce signed, he sounds less like a rabbi and more like a mob boss.

His "get" process is simple.

"I don't want to use secular terms, but what we're doing is basically kidnapping the guy for a couple of hours, beating him up and torturing him and then getting you the get," Epstein says on a recording.

"Now understand, you're lying with a plastic bag around your head, a minute ago you were standing like a normal person. That's fright," Epstein says on the recording. "For 80 percent of the guys, it's over right there. Now you do what we tell you, or it's gonna get worse."

At sentencing, Epstein tells the judge: "I guess I got caught up in my tough-guy image."

"Rabbi Epstein and his family are some of the most loyal, compassionate, smart, caring, community-minded individuals I have ever met," said attorney Robert Stahl. "He was coming from a position of what is good and what is right and what is noble and perhaps it went a little bit too far."

But prosecutors claim the rabbi earned his title as "The Prodfather."

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