In Sex Abuse Cases, More Brooklyn Jews Reject Rabbinical Courts

Members and activists take part in a meeting for Survivors for Justice, a group formed to help Orthodox Jews molested as children.Of the 700 child sexual abuse cases brought in New York City in an average year, few involved the ultra-Orthodox 180,000 members of Hasidic and related sects of Judaism. From one or two, Brooklyn district aoorney suddenly has 26 men of the community — yeshiva teachers, rabbis, camp counselors, merchants and relatives of children. Eight have been convicted; 18 await trial.

If the sudden spike in prosecutions is startling, even more surprising is the apparent reason: ultra-Orthodox Jews, long forbidden to inform on one another without permission from the rabbis who lead them, are going to the police and prosecutors on their own.

Growing numbers of the most Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn say they do not believe they can get justice from the rabbinical courts.

”What we have witnessed in the past year is completely unprecedented,” said Rhonnie Jaus, chief of the Brooklyn district attorney’s sex crimes bureau. “This would be inconceivable just a few years ago.” via NYTimes