Judge Erred In Sentencing Of Notorious Hasidic Pedophile – Did DA Conspire With The Judge To Cover It Up?
By Shmarya Rosenberg (FailedMessiah.com)
October 6, 2014
Is Rabbi Baruch Lebovits the “luckiest pedophile in New York”?
He has certainly beaten New York City’s legal system, but that likely happened not because of luck but because of the willingness of that system to be “beaten” by a well-connected and wealthy hasidic pedophile and because of highly questionable and likely unethical behavior by Lebovits attorneys, including Alan Dershowitz and Arthur Aidala.
But nonetheless, Lebovits managed to turn a 10 2/3 to 32-year sentence issued in 2010 into a 2-year sentence in 2014 – for which he got credit for good behavior, even though the judge, Mark R. Dwyer, made him forgo it on accepting Lebovits’ plea deal – and credit for time served. And then he got an extra month off for reasons no one other than the New York City Department of Corrections (and perhaps Lebovits’ attorneys) know.
As Hella Winston reported in today's Jewish Week, Judge Dwyer’s sentence was an error – convicts cannot waive their ability to get time off for good behavior. But despite being warned about this by the prosecution before sentencing, Dwyer ordered it anyway. The Department of Corrections ignored his ruling.
And, Lebovits walked free last month, having served about three months in jail, a total time in custody of about 15 months.
And this happened even though Dwyer made it a condition of Lebovits’ plea deal that he waive “early release.”
“Our understanding is that you normally would be released after about 16 months. The waiver of early release would have the effect of keeping you in some months more, not more than 24, of course, but some months more than 16.…Obviously [you would] expect to get credit for the jail time you’ve already done,” Dwyer said in court.
But by law, good-time credit cannot be waived.
What Lebovits reportedly could have waived was his right to apply for conditional release or, as it is commonly known, “early release,” which is given by the Board of Parole in cases of hardship like advanced age or illness.
This type of judicial error is reportedly common. What is apparently less common is a judge making the error after being warned about it by the prosecution. But this is, after all, Brooklyn.
The prosecution warned Dwyer in a letter which Hella Winston of the Jewish Week obtained. The letter explained the issue with the law on waiving early release for good behavior and requested that the court note on the sentencing documents that Lebovits waived conditional, early release. That was not done, and Dwyer gave Lebovitz the ridiculously short sentence anyway, apparently knowing he would only serve a few months in jail at the most.
But the DA’s letter did not explicitly mention Dwyer’s mistake or how that mistake, if carried through, would impact the amount of time Lebovits would spend in jail.
Dwyer should have corrected his error on the record and should have called a new hearing to correct it. But he apparently did not do that, either.
“It’s inexplicable why the prosecutor didn’t take the affirmative step of making a motion, or the judge, on his own, didn't call the parties back to correct his error. That they didn’t, there’s got to be a reason. Is it because it’s a headache? Because they want this thing to be covered up because it’s embarrassing to the judge? I guess they felt that this case was such a hot potato that they wanted to get rid of it,” Pace University law professor Bennett Gershman told the Jewish Week.
“Clearly, Lebovits did not receive the sentence that the court intended to impose. The question is whether that sentence was lawful, in that it is not the one promised to Lebovits in exchange for his guilty plea, a promise that his attorney stated he was specially relying upon at the time of sentencing. What is not in question is that Lebovits seems somehow to once again be the luckiest pedophile in New York,” Niall MacGiollabhui, a lawyer for an alleged victim of Lebovits, reportedly told The Jewish Week.