By Jamie Schram, Danny Gold and Dan Mangan (NY Post)
June 24, 2011
A sicko lured two boys — one of whom was celebrating his 12th birthday -- separately into a Brooklyn synagogue and molested them within an hour of each other, The Post has learned.
Now sex-crime cops are aggressively searching for the pervert, who did his dirty work Wednesday afternoon in a busy Borough Park shul.
The first victim, who turned 12 on Wednesday, was walking home from school at around 4 p.m. when he was approached by an unidentified man at Simcha Hall, a synagogue on 15th Avenue at the intersection of 50th Street. The shul serves members of the Belz sect of the Hasidic community.
The man, who was dressed as a Hasidic, pushed the boy into the bathroom of Simcha Hall, offered him money, and then pulled down the victim's pants and molested him, according to a source. The man then told the boy to leave.
Less than an hour later, another boy was walking by the synagogue when the same man accosted him, took him to the basement, and molested him there, a source said.
The incidents came to light after one of the victims told his father what had happened. The dad in turn contacted Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, a advocate who works to expose incidents of child sexual molestation in the Hasidic Orthodox Jewish community.
Rosenberg gave the father the number of an NYPD detective.
"I said go down to the detective, and report it," Rosenberg said.
Rosenberg also said that the father told him that the molester, who was described a "young man" by the victim, asked that boy to "help pack up some Jewish books from the basement to the top floor" of the synagogue, and then cornered the boy in the basement.
On Thursday, according to Rosenberg, that victim's grandfather visited the synagogue, "to see if this is a shul or a madhouse.
There, the grandfather encountered the father of the other victim, who was visiting the synagogue to see if anyone knew anything about the perpetrator.
David Orlander, whose son Nafatali Orlander manages the shul, said he had hear about the alleged attacks, but did not know who committed them.
"We won't sweep it under the rug. Nobody is denying it [happened] but, for some reason, nobody knowns anything either," Orlander said.
"Our shul is open 20 hours a day, and there's not necessarily someone in the building," Orlander said. "It's open, in case anyone wants to come in an study. Even the mailman and the sanitation workers know it's open and they can use the bathrooms. Anyone can walk in there."