Friday, May 27, 2011: This morning in Kings County Supreme Court, Criminal 320 Jay Street Part 20, Room 4.25, Meir Dascalowitz came late for his hearing, and his lawyer represented him in a brief hearing. Appearing for the twentieth time in Criminal Court before the Honorable Judge Miriam Cyrulnik, the court had in their possession the psychiatric report declaring Meir Dascalowitz unfit to proceed. During the last hearing, the prosecutor informed the judge that two psychiatrists have evaluated the defendant, and declared him unfit to proceed but the report was not in possession of the court.
Today, the court received the report and the case was transferred to the Mental Health Part, before Judge Mathew J. D’emic for June 16, 2011. On that date, the defendant will immediately remanded into a state mental facility, pretty much like a jail. With bail no longer continued, Dascelowitz will remain in this mental facility until he is medicated and stabilized and declared fit to proceed in this case. Click here for technical explanation of how this works. The case will also go back to Judge Miriam Cyrulnik for control, on June 29, 2011.
These proceedings are temporarily on hold until the defendant will be fit to proceed, the family of the victim continues to be harassed by the community, despite a continued order of protection. The recent developments in the New Square violence against another fellow Jew, helps shed some light on these shunning practices that have previously been hidden from the outside world. Within insular communities of the ultra orthodox, Jewish zealots will go to extreme measures to enforce control. Whether they are acting to preserve their Rabbi’s teachings and rulings, or merely their own self made rules, a community resident must comply in full.
The current controversy in ultra Orthodox communities revolve around a Jew reporting another Jew, on matters of sexual crimes. While a prominent Rabbi has issued a ruling allowing these types of reports, other Rabbis have been very vocal about issuing rulings against reporting sexual crimes. The controversy continues with the help of Ohel, the largest social services agency, who is currently under investigation for not reporting sexual crimes.
Social isolation, intimidation, outright harassment, and now, even violence, has become an all too common occurrences. In Williamsburg, where the Dascelowtiz victim has lived his whole life, these practices have taken its toll on the victim and his family. Phone calls to the family’s home answering machine with cursing and threatening messages, were just the beginning. Then, the young children of the family were terrorized in school. The yeshiva threatened to throw them out, claiming that they are evil people who reported another fellow jew.
And then, they did throw out the victim from Yeshiva. Intending to intimidate the family even more, the Yeshiva then called in ACS-Child protective Services, to “investigate” educational neglect of the child. Back in March, the family participated in the preparations for the Voices of Justice Freedom Seder for Survivors of Abuse. In between peeling potatoes and preparing horseradish for the gefilte fish, the volunteers learned about Leibowitz’s release after the Kellner arrest. Immediately after the news spread in the community, there was singing and dancing in the streets, an indication that Chassidim will rejoice every time another fellow Jew is out of jail. Then, the family got a terrible phone call from the paternal grandparents. They had received a threatening phone call, saying, “Baruch Mordche is out, and your son should watch out”. This was a direct message that the scare tactics will intensify until the family flees the country and drops the charges.
In the orthodox world, it is the victims who are continuously victimized, until they are intimidated to drop the charges. If all else fails, and the victim is brave enough to continue, the case will be tampered with until the prosecution will no longer stand. This has happened to the Rottenbergs in New Square, as they continued to fear for their safety yet their please were ignored by law enforcement. This too, is happening to the victims of all the high profile sexual crimes cases in the Jewish community. The Dascelowitz victim’s family has repeatedly feared for their safety and called the police many times. It will take enormous cooperation from supporters to keep this family alive, and strong, to continue this case to completion.