Saturday, August 6, 2016

Child molester sues N.Y. Rabbi Yakov Horowitz over tweets

USA Today  A child molester who moved from New York to Israel as he was being sought on a new misdemeanor assault charge turned to the Israeli court system to quiet a New York rabbi intent on spreading the word about his crimes. 

Yona Weinberg, who spent roughly a year in jail for sexually abusing two boys in Brooklyn, lost his bid Tuesday in an Israeli court for an order of protection against Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, dean of Yeshiva Darchei Noam here.

Horowitz had been visiting Jerusalem to teach a child-safety class in Weinberg’s neighborhood. The order would have prevented the rabbi from lecturing there because the community center where he was teaching is within a third of a mile of Weinberg’s home.

The bid for the protection order followed Weinberg’s filing a defamation lawsuit against the rabbi, who put out tweets warning Weinberg’s neighbors in Israel of his presence. The lawsuit is pending.

Horowitz said he won’t be intimidated by Weinberg, who used his position as a bar mitzvah tutor to gain access to his 12- and 13-year-old victims. He also sees the fight as part of a larger effort to thwart others from exposing sex offenders and warning potential victims.

The Israeli legal maneuverings are key to this tactic, he said.

“If you care about the personal safety of children, these lawsuits should trouble you deeply,” Horowitz wrote on his blog. “For, make no mistake, if these outrageous lawsuits are permitted to continue, fewer and fewer people will be posting warnings when convicted sex offenders move near you or those you love.”

Horowitz has spent 13 years advocating for child sex-abuse victims in the Orthodox Jewish community and has written several books on child safety and parenting.

“I think this is a test case,” he said. “I am not giving up.”

Just hours after having to appear in court in Jerusalem, Horowitz taught his child-safety class to 200 people. Weinberg unsuccessfully argued that Horowitz would incite community violence against him and his family, the rabbi said. [...]

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