By Joe Coscarelli (New York Magazine)
May 11, 2012
Late last year, Hynes touted the success of his Kol Tzedek ("Voice of Justice") campaign meant to "ensure safety in the community and to fully support those affected by abuse," while also being sensitive to the Hasidic culture. But the Times reports today that Hynes's numbers are "inflated":
Through an extensive search of court and other public records, The Times determined the names of suspects and other details in 47 of the 95 cases attributed to the Kol Tzedek program. More than half of the 47 seemed to have little to do with the program, according to the court records and interviews.
Some did not involve ultra-Orthodox victims, which the program is specifically intended to help. More than one-third involved arrests before the program began, as early as 2007. Many came in through standard reporting channels, like calls to the police.
Evidence that the D.A. is beholden to powerful religious interests can be seen in light sentences for admitted abusers and the withholding of their names, with Hynes "essentially allowing rabbis to act as gatekeepers." In the words of one expert, "That's exactly what the Catholic Church did, what the Latter-day Saints did, what the Jehovah's Witnesses did."
"There is no nice way of saying it," said the mother of one victim in yesterday's Times installment. "Our community protects molesters. Other than that, we are wonderful."