Thursday, February 19, 2015
Investigation Claims Jehovah Witnesses' Watchtower Is Hiding Child Sexual Abuse Claims, Yeshivah abuse victim says scholarship was removed after he reported rape, Royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, Rabbi pleads guilty to taping nude women at ritual bath
Investigation Claims Jehovah Witnesses' Watchtower Is Hiding Child Sexual Abuse Claims
The Huffington Post By Kira Brekke 02/18/2015
Evelyn Selimaj, 30, left, of East Haven and her sister Sybelle Almodovar, 35, of North Guilford hold a photograph of themselves together with their brother Ferdinand Almodovar that was taken about the time that the three siblings say they began to be sexually abused by a ministerial servant who acted as a church leader in their congregation. They were child members of the New Haven East Spanish Jehovah's Witnesses congregation. In October 2014 in New Haven, Connecticut, their attorneys filed ch
A new report out of the Center for Investigative Reporting claims that the Jehovah's Witnesses' parent organization in the United States has systematically hidden child sexual abuse cases for more than 25 years.
Trey Bundy, the Reveal journalist behind the report, explained to HuffPost Live on Tuesday that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York has issued detailed memos since 1989 mandating spiritual leaders to immediately report any allegations of child abuse to the Watchtower's legal department before the police.
"Essentially what they say is, 'You don’t need to call police unless state law requires you to, and we’ll determine if that’s the case.' They say not to warn other members of the congregation if you have a child abuser in your congregation, that’s confidential information," Bundy told host Alyona Minkovski. "And they also ... lay out a very sort of convoluted process for determining whether or not you’re even going to take child abuse seriously."
But in the "many times" Jehovah's Witnesses have been sued in civil court by alleged victims of abuse, Bundy explained, the freedom of religion has been invoked to protect them....
In a statement to Bundy in his article, Watchtower representatives defended the organization's practices regarding abuse.
Watchtower officials say they instruct their members to obey state laws. Their policy memos direct elders who hear of alleged child abuse to “contact the Society’s Legal Department immediately” to learn whether the laws in their states require them to notify police....
Yeshivah abuse victim says scholarship was removed after he reported rape
Victim of jailed abuser David Cyprys says principal Rabbi Abraham Glick cancelled the award after telling him of incidents, royal commission hears
Rabbi Pinchus Feldman did not alert police when the alleged abuser said he might leave the country.
Melissa Davey Monday 9 February 2015
A child sex abuse victim who was repeatedly raped by a staff member of an Orthodox Jewish school said he was stripped of his scholarship when he told the principal what happened.
The victim, identified only as AVR, said a security guard at the Yeshivah centre and college in Melbourne, David Cyprys, raped him multiple times.
Cyprys was convicted of those offences in 2013, and is in jail....
His mother immediately flew to Melbourne see him, and together they reported the abuse to the principal of the school, Rabbi Abraham Glick, and the director, Rabbi David Groner, who is now dead.
“Rabbi Glick said my scholarship had been cancelled from that time,” AVR said. “I feel Rabbi Glick and Yeshivah did not want me there any more. They did not offer help or counselling. No one at Yeshivah would speak to us or help us. Even our own family members would not help us, and we had a lot of trouble getting back to the airport.”....
Cyprys was “a serial abuser of children”, the commission heard last Monday. AVR said his mother had stopped treatment for her cancer when she came to Melbourne to rescue him from Cyprys, and that she passed away a few years later, in 1995....
Last week, other victims told the commission how they were ignored by senior religious leaders within the orthodox Yeshivah community after reporting their abuse, and of being verbally abused and ostracised....
Royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse
Latest news on Australia's royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse
Rabbi pleads guilty to taping nude women at ritual bath
February 19, 2015 By JESSICA GRESKO
WASHINGTON (AP) — A prominent Orthodox rabbi acknowledged Thursday that for years he videotaped women in a changing room of a Jewish ritual bath, ultimately recording approximately 150 nude women.
Barry Freundel pleaded guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism during a hearing at D.C. Superior Court. Each count is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
Freundel's attorney, Jeffrey Harris, acknowledged after the hearing that it was unlikely that his client would get a 52-year sentence but declined to say what sentence he would seek at a hearing set for May 15. Harris said his client was taking responsibility for his actions and was looking to move on with his life....
Freundel, 63, was a rabbi at the Kesher Israel synagogue in Washington for more than 25 years before his arrest in October on voyeurism charges. As part of the plea agreement Freundel entered into Thursday, he acknowledged that starting in 2009 he set up hidden recording devices in a changing and showering area of The National Capital Mikvah, a ritual cleansing bath affiliated with Kesher Israel. He acknowledged he secretly videotaped women who were partially or totally undressed before or after they showered.