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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Orthodox Jewish Sex Abuse Suspects Get Exemption to Have Their Identities Protected

By Paul Berger--April 24, 2012

Orthodox Jews charged with child sex abuse in Brooklyn should have their identities protected because of the community’s “tight-knit and insular” nature, prosecutors claim in a remarkable response to demands for information about the cases.

No Names of Orthodox: Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes says the ‘tight-knit’ nature of the Orthodox community makes it impossible to disclose the identities of abuse suspects without also identifying their victims.
Rejecting a Forward request under the state’s Freedom of Information Law, the Brooklyn district attorney made the startling claim that Orthodox Jews deserve a blanket exemption from the usual public disclosure rules. Prosecutors claimed that Orthodox Jews are “unique” in that releasing the names of suspects would allow others in the community to identify their victims.

“The circumstances here are unique,” Assistant District Attorney Morgan Dennehy wrote in an April 16 letter to the Forward. “Because all of the requested defendant names relate to Hasidic men who are alleged to have committed sex crimes against Hasidic victims within a very tight-knit and insular Brooklyn community, there is a significant danger that the disclosure of the defendants’ names would lead members of that community to discern the identities of the victims.”



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