May 12, 2012
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said that the Mayor and others have unfairly criticized his handling of allegations of sexual abuse in the Ultra Orthodox community.
"You know I really, ya know, welcome the opportunity to set the record straight," Hynes told WCBS 880 reporter Alex Silverman.
Hynes said that it was accurately reported that he would not interfere with a witness or victim's decision to speak with a Rabbi about an alleged incident, but that he still expected that criminal activity would be reported to the appropriate authorities.
Along with the assistance of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, Ohel, and other Jewish agencies; Hynes created a program called "Voice Of Justice."
The program includes a 24-hour hotline and social worker access, as well as a direct link to Hynes' office.
"Ya know, had he bothered to reach out, I would have explained that I didn't object to someone going to see a rabbi..but I certainly expected that they would report promptly any allegations of sexual abuse," he said.
Hynes defended his office's policy of not revealing the names of Jews charged with sex crimes.
"Once they identify the victim, they harass and intimidate."
Hynes added that any member of the Orthodox community found to be obstructing an inquiry about sexual abuse would be prosecuted and punished.