Ed Koch was the 105th mayor of New York City for three terms, from 1978 to 1989. He previously served for nine years as a congressman. Koch writes on his blog:
The NY Times is now examining the sexual abuses taking place in the Jewish ultra-orthodox Hasidic community, primarily in Brooklyn, and the response of the Brooklyn District Attorney, Charles Hynes.
“This community does not deserve to have any preferential treatment” and “he should treat them exactly as he would anyone else.” Koch, who is Jewish, said Hynes should prosecute the rabbis who interfered with victims reporting accusations of abuse. ‘We’re all equal under the law and they have to subscribe to the law without getting preferential treatment,‘ Koch said. ‘It’s just dead wrong. And there’s no explanation to make it right in any way.’”
Rivera and Otterman reported in their NY Times article of May 10, “An influential rabbi came last summer to the Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, with a message: his ultra-Orthodox advocacy group was instructing adherent Jews that they could report allegations of child sexual abuse to district attorneys or the police only if a rabbi first determined that the suspicions were credible. The pronouncement was a blunt challenge to Mr. Hynes’s authority. But the district attorney ‘expressed no opposition or objection,’ the rabbi, Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, recalled.”
If in fact, Hynes assented to this procedure, in my opinion, he was blessing the obstruction of justice. The law requires certain categories of employees, e.g., teachers, social workers, etc., to immediately report to the government any information they gain concerning a case of child abuse.
For a rabbi to counsel otherwise, I believe, is a criminal act to be pursued by the District Attorney rather than countenanced.
At this point, unless District Attorney Hynes announces that he will release the names of all defendants, including those of ultra orthodox Jews charged with child abuse — sexual or otherwise — and will pursue criminally anyone who engages in obstruction of justice, advising someone not to assist the police in their investigation of a child abuse incident, the governor should supersede him in these cases and appoint a special prosecutor to handle them.