by Reuven Blau (NY Post)
August 31, 2008
Detectives fear a serial sex predator is stalking Borough Park, and are frustrated by the lack of cooperation they're getting from one victim's family, The Post has learned.
The Hasidic family of a 14-year-old girl sexually assaulted on Aug. 3 is not helping detectives hunting her attacker, according to a police source familiar with the investigation.
"The detectives have hit a stone wall right now," the source said. "Beyond a basic interview, they are not getting any cooperation."
The family appears concerned about the girl's identity getting out, which would greatly limit her chances of eventually getting married within the tight-knit religious culture, community leaders and neighbors said last week.
Based on DNA evidence, police have connected the attack to the predator who snatched a 4-year-old Hasidic girl on July 16, 2007.
Detectives suspect that the fiend is a serial sex attacker, and that other victims may not have come forward, according to the police source.
"Serial rapists by definition don't stop at one or two," the insider said.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who represents the area, acknowledged the sociological hurdles the police are facing.
"Unfortunately, the shame and all these other concerns come in the picture," he told The Post. "But this is something that we have to overcome in our communities.
"Sometimes these concerns, real or perceived, overpower the need to protect the community from evil criminal individuals. For someone not to cooperate verges on a violation of law."
The police were careful not to identify the 4-year-old victim last summer, but many in the close Hasidic community quickly found out.
"Everybody knew everything about everything," one neighbor said last week. "There were text messages sent out with the exact location."
After both assaults, the NYPD quickly parked a mobile command unit in the area and added foot patrols.
Over the past several weeks, the department has also positioned sporadic roadblocks near where the girls were snatched and found.