Haredi “Mystery Man” Pleads Guilty To Child Sex Abuse Charges

By Shmarya Rosenberg (Failedmessiah.com)
January 29, 2013

Police, prosecutors and a Rockland County judge aren’t sure who he really is.

But the man known both as Dovid Kohn and Avraham Perl suddenly pleaded guilty in Rockland County court yesterday to having oral sex with a young girl over a three-year period beginning when she was 12-years-old after it became clear that tape recordings of him speaking to the victim and admitting his crimes would be admitted as evidence at his trial.

The victim, who is now 21-years old, filed a criminal complaint against Kohn last year.

Kohn’s wife and two daughters were in the courtroom yesterday when Kohn suddenly pleaded guilty to first-degree course of sexual conduct with a child and admitting having oral sex with the girl.

Kohn was originally charged with 35 counts of felony sexual abuse.

Judge William Nelson said he would sentence Kohn to eight years in prison with 10 years of probation. He will also pay $1,025 in fees and will be registered as a sex offender. Kohn is scheduled to be formally sentenced on May 7.

Kohn appears to be a 60-year-old Israeli national living illegally in the United States, for the past 25 to 28 years in the Monsey, New York area.

After his sentence is completed, Kohn also faces deportation.

At one point, his victim wore a body wire provided by police to record Kohn talking to her about the sexual abuse.

According to a report in the Journal News, in one transcript of their recorded conversations the victim recounted what Kohn’s sexual abuse had done to her.

“You ruined my life,” she said, adding that she cut herself because of the sexual abuse and tried to commit suicide. And she told Kohn that no man in the religious community would marry her because of what he did to her.

Kohn responded that he wanted to apologize and didn’t want to hurt her.

But he went on to accuse her of trying to blackmail him when she told him that she would report him to police if he didn’t admit what he had done. I’ll “fight like hell,” if you do that, Kohn said.

“The fact of the matter is because I want to avoid publicity you have a certain power over me, okay, and I understand that. I am apologizing from my heart, but don’t force me to say something that I don’t want to say. You can’t understand that I would like desperately to turn the clocks back,” Kohn reportedly said according to the transcript.

Prosecutors compared Kohn’s crimes to those of Rabbi Nechemya Weberman, a Satmar hasid who was convicted in Brooklyn last month on 59 counts of child sexual abuse and sentenced last week to 103 years in prison.

“What he’s alleged to have done is very similar to Weberman, except he’s not a counselor,” a prosecutor reportedly said, adding that Kohn is a “man of mystery…We’re not sure of his true identity.”

Police and several government agencies are also baffled and don’t really know Kohn’s true identity, despite conducting background checks on him.

“Basically, we have asked the FBI to assist us in determining his actual identity. At this point we are uncertain as to who he actually is,” Ramapo Detective Sgt. John Lynch told the Journal News.

Lynch asked that anyone with information on Kohn to please call police at 845-357-2400.

Kohn had a driver’s license in the name of Avraham Perl and used that name as well as the name Dovid Kohn.

He claimed in court that he was born in Israel in November 1952 and said that came to the United States about three decades ago. Before that he said that he studied in a Jerusalem yeshiva and worked [probably as a sofer, religious scribe] on religious documents. In the United States, he worked as a videographer and photographer.

Kohn was evasive and hesitant in some of his answers relating to his background and his immigrations status.

“I am not a citizen. I don’t want to say I am here illegally. I overstayed my visa,” Kohn said at one point.

Rabbi Nosson Leiter, an advocate for child sexual abuse victims in the areas haredi communities, told the Journal News that Kohn’s plea and the prison sentence that comes with it should serve as a model for how to handle future cases of child sexual abuse.

“[The] plea with prison time should serve as a paradigm of how to confront the molestation crisis, as a community. Sometimes a strong victim can actually force a plea with incarceration,” Leiter reportedly said.

In several recent cases of haredi child sexual abuse, area judges have sentenced pedophiles who pleaded guilty to probation-only sentences – in at least one case, a probation-only sentence was given despite the fact that the pedophile admitted that he repeatedly anally raped a child.