Assistant district attorney in Hynes’ office tells Sam Kellner's lawyers he and partner are off the case.
Jewish Week Correspondent
Story Includes Video:
Prosecutors in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office were set to dismiss the case against chasidic abuse whistleblower Sam Kellner this week for lack of evidence, but were overruled by their supervisor and then reassigned, The Jewish Week has learned.
Last Wednesday, one day after Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes suffered a crushing defeat by Ken Thompson in his bid for re-election, Assistant District Attorney Joe Alexis informed Kellner’s lawyers, Michael Dowd and Niall MacGiollabhui, by phone that the case against their client would be dismissed at the next scheduled court date, Nov. 12.
In its case against a chasidic sex abuse whistleblower, the Brooklyn district attorney's office is withholding “highly significant” evidence favorable to the defense and may have suborned perjury, according to an attorney for Sam Kellner.
Kellner, a resident of Borough Park, is awaiting trial on charges he paid a witness to fabricate claims of sexual abuse by Baruch Lebovits, a cantor and prominent member of the Munkacs chasidic community. Kellner, whose son is also an alleged Lebovits victim — and who brought additional Lebovits victims to the police — is also charged with attempting to extort money from the Lebovits family.
At least eight arrests happened before Orthodox community effort was launched, Jewish Week finds.
Special To The Jewish Week
At least eight sex abuse cases identified by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office as Kol Tzedek cases were actually reported years before the advent of the confidential hotline, The Jewish Week has learned. This information calls into question the reliability of the statistics the DA has used to tout the success of the hotline.
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.