The following is a summary of numerous articles that document the disturbing pattern of Alan Dershowitz associating with known pedophiles, suspected pedophiles, and protectors of pedophiles. I have briefly summarized and/or commented on most of the articles, and have included excerpts as well.
I will begin with a well-documented story from this year; convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, Dershowitz, and others are accused of having sex with underage girls. Erin Fuchs discusses some of the specific accusations made against Dershowitz and Epstein.
One such powerful individual that Epstein forced then-minor Jane Doe #3 to have sexual relations with was former Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, a close friend of Epstein’s and well-known criminal defense attorney. Epstein required Jane Doe #3 to have sexual relations with Dershowitz on numerous occasions while she was a minor, not only in Florida but also on private planes, in New York, New Mexico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In addition to being a participant in the abuse of Jane Doe #3 and other minors, Dershowitz was an eye-witness to the sexual abuse of many other minors by Epstein and several of Epstein’s co-conspirators. Dershowitz would later play a significant role in negotiating the NPA [plea agreement] on Epstein’s behalf.
Tamara Tabo offered more on this topic:
The people who made the allegations public appear credible.
Dershowitz told the Wall Street Journal that he intends to initiate disbarment proceedings against the attorneys representing the alleged victims for failing to diligently investigate the women’s claims. Even if the allegations against Dershowitz are false, though, it’s not clear that the lawyers representing the women are either incompetent or malicious.
Paul Cassell and Bradley Edwards represent the plaintiffs in the CVRA suit. Edwards is a Florida attorney representing Epstein’s victims pro bono. Cassell is a University of Utah law professor focusing on crime victims’ rights. He argued before SCOTUS on behalf of child pornography victim Amy Unknown in last term’s Paroline v. United States, for example. He is a former D.C. Circuit and Supreme Court clerk, and a former Assistant U.S. Attorney. Most notably, Cassell is a former U.S. District Judge. Neither he nor Edwards are amateurs.
It appears that Epstein made a habit of soliciting and trafficking underage girls, and one has to wonder how Dershowitz could possibly be unaware of this. In a recent article, journalist Vicky Ward describes how she became nauseated, disgusted, and scared after getting to know Epstein, and what she ultimately found.
What I had “on the girls” were some remarkably brave first-person accounts. Three on-the-record stories from a family: a mother and her daughters who came from Phoenix. The oldest daughter, an artist whose character was vouchsafed to me by several sources, including the artist Eric Fischl, had told me, weeping as she sat in my living room, of how Epstein had attempted to seduce both her and, separately, her younger sister, then only 16.
He’d gotten to them because of his money. He’d promised the older sister patronage of her art work; he’d promised the younger funding for a trip abroad that would give her the work experience she needed on her résumé for a place at an Ivy League university, which she desperately wanted—and would win.
In a detailed story from 2010, Conchita Sarnoff explains how Epstein miraculously avoided significant jail time for a litany of sexual offenses with underage girls.
During Epstein’s term of “house arrest,” he made several trips each month to his New York home and his private Caribbean island. In the earlier stage of his sentence for soliciting prostitution with a minor—13 months in the Palm Beach Stockade—he was allowed out to his office each day. Meanwhile, Epstein has settled more than a dozen lawsuits brought by the underage girls who were recruited to perform “massages” at his Palm Beach mansion. Seven victims reached a last-minute deal last week, days before a scheduled trial; each received well over $1 million—an amount that will hardly dent Epstein’s $2 billion net worth. . . .
Did Epstein’s wealth and social connections—former President Bill Clinton; Prince Andrew; former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak; New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson; and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers were just a few of the prominent passengers on his private jets—allow him to receive only a slap on the wrist for crimes that carry a mandatory 20-year sentence? Was he able, with his limitless assets and heavy-hitting lawyers—Alan Dershowitz, Gerald Lefcourt, Roy Black, Kenneth Starr, Guy Lewis, and Martin Weinberger among them—to escape equal justice? . . .
The Palm Beach Police Department identified 17 local girls who had contact with Epstein before the age of consent; the youngest was 14, and many were younger than 16. And that was just at one of Epstein’s many homes around the world—he also owns property in New York, Santa Fe, Paris, London, and the Caribbean. Subsequent investigation by the FBI, reaching as far back as 2001, indentified roughly 40 victims, not counting Nadia Marcinkova, whom Epstein referred to as his “Yugoslavian sex slave” because he had imported her from the Balkans at age 14. Now 24, Marcinkova became a member of the household and is alleged to have participated in the sexual contact with underage girls. . . .
The details that eventually emerged were often shocking and occasionally bizarre. For Epstein’s birthday one year, according to allegations in a civil suit, he was presented with three 12-year-old girls from France, who were molested then flown back to Europe the next day. These same civil complaints allege that young girls from South America, Europe, and the former Soviet republics, few of whom spoke English, were recruited for Esptein’s sexual pleasure. According to a former bookkeeper, a number of the girls worked for MC2, the modeling agency owned by Jean Luc Brunel, a longtime acquaintance and frequent guest of Epstein’s. Brunel received $1 million from the billionaire around the time he started the agency.
Sarnoff also details the repugnant role that Dershowitz played in this injustice by attempting to discredit and/or intimidate the victims and the police.
For one, it was clear from the start that Epstein would spare no legal expense and that his team of veteran lawyers, whose cases ranged from O.J. Simpson to the investigation of Clinton’s relationship with an intern, would play rough. When the Palm Beach police started to identify victims, according to Detective Joe Recarey’s report, Dershowitz began sending the detective Facebook and MySpace posts to demonstrate that some of these girls were no angels. Reiter’s deposition also states that he heard from local private investigators that Dershowitz had launched background checks on both the police chief and Det. Recarey. Dershowitz denies all of that. According to Reiter, both he and Recarey also became aware that they were under surveillance for several months, without knowing who ordered it. And the Florida victims began to complain that they and family members were being followed and intimidated by private investigators who were then linked to local attorneys in Epstein’s employ. In one reported instance, the private investigator claimed to be a police officer, and Reiter considered filing witness-tampering charges.
Very recently, The Guardian obtained a letter written in 2005 by Dershowitz to the police in a feeble attempt to discredit a witness in the Epstein case. I found it to be especially humorous when Dershowitz tried to promote the idea that the witness’ claims should be treated with extreme care because she was a drama student.
You also may be interested in a 2007 article by Phillip Weiss, who wrote a detailed profile of Epstein.
In another high-profile child-sex case, Dershowitz is on the defense team of film director Roman Polanski. In this recent article, Ben Beaumont-Thomas discussed the latest attempt by the US Government to have Polanski extradited from Poland.
It marks another attempt by the US to bring Polanski back to the country he fled from in 1978. The film director faced a jail term after he pleaded guilty to having unlawful sex with Samantha Gailey (now Geimer), then aged 13. His plea was part of a bargain that saw other more serious charges, including rape, dropped. Polanski absconded before the sentencing, however, and has lived in France ever since.
Poland is receiving the request because Polanski has been visiting Krakow, preparing for his film An Officer and a Spy. The US made an initial attempt in October last year, by filing an arrest warrant when Polanski travelled to Warsaw. The director was brought in for questioning by the Polish authorities but was not arrested.
This move by the US came after a failed attempt by Dershowitz and others to have the case against Polanski dismissed, as noted by Dan Weikel and Geoffrey Mohan.
Oscar-winning film director Roman Polanski has lost his latest bid to dismiss a 1977 sexual assault conviction that spurred him to flee to Europe to avoid sentencing.
Last week, Polanski’s legal team — which included prominent civil liberties attorney Alan M. Dershowitz — made accusations of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct in its effort to end the case.
Dershowitz has also been a player in the pedophile child-sex scandal in Brooklyn, his hometown. The scandal involves the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Borough Park area, and the Brooklyn DA’s office, which could be described as incompetent, unethical, and corrupt.
In October of 2014, Emily Shire wrote about the most recent failings of the Brooklyn DA with some historical background. Shire’s story focuses on the ultra-lenient treatment of pedophile Baruch Lebovits.
After initially facing up to 32 years in prison for eight counts of child sexual abuse, Baruch Lebovits walked out of Riker’s Island last week a free man. He had served just under 16 months of total prison time.
That Lebovits, a cantor from the ultra-Orthodox Borough Park section of Brooklyn, was even convicted is seen as a victory considering the difficulty of prosecuting abuse in that community. However, his release is disappointing, if not surprising, for those who hoped Brooklyn district attorney Kenneth Thompson would be the man to end decades of ultra-Orthodox sex abuse cover-ups.
Thompson beat out Charles Hynes for Brooklyn DA, ending a reign that last more than 23 years. Towards the end of his time as DA, Hynes was scrutinized for his perceived unwillingness to prosecute crimes against the ultra-Orthodox, especially in regards to sexual abuse. At best, his administration appeared exceptionally lax, and at worst, it willfully obstructed justice. He was famously reluctant to release the names of convicted sex abusers in the Orthodox community. His office let Rabbi Yehuda Kolko get away without jail time or registering as a sex offender. Instead, Kolko received a plea deal that allowed him to plea guilty to child endangerment. The DA claimed the alleged victims—first graders in Kolko’s class—were unwilling to testify, but chief of the Kings County sex crimes division, Rhonnie Jaus, publicly said that their parents had been willing to put the kids on the stand. It was one of many cases that raised questions about Hynes’ willingness to prosecute ultra-Orthodox sex abuse. . . .
“My client is not surprised,” said Niall MacGiollabhui, the lawyer for Samuel Kellner, whose son was allegedly abused by Lebovits. “This is what he’s gotten all along from that [the Brooklyn DA’s] office, but certainly we thought once Thompson came in, it would be different. It’s business as usual in Brooklyn.”
Kellner himself was indicted by the Brooklyn DA’s office under Hynes. The charges against him are a window into a case as complex as it is disturbing.
Lebovits was convicted of eight counts sexually abusing a child in 2010, but the case against him first emerged in 2008 when Kellner’s son said Lebovits had fondled him. Kellner says he was told by officials that Lebovits was unlikely to serve jail time as a man with a clean record, or even be prosecuted by the DA’s office, according to the Jewish Week. He became determined to locate other victims who would testify to abuses that could put Lebovits behind bars. He found one man, who testified in court that Lebovits had performed oral sex on him multiple times as a teenager. The man’s testimony helped lead to Lebovits’s 2010 conviction and an initial sentence of 10-2/3 to 32 years behind bars.
However, Lebovits’ conviction would ultimately be overturned—though he wasn’t acquitted outright—in 2012. His defense team (led by none other than Alan Dershowitz) convinced an appeals court that the trial had been prejudiced by the prosecution’s failure to share a police detective’s note about one of the witnesses expected to be called by the defense. While the court said Lebovits was denied his right to a fair trial, it also noted that there was sufficient evidence to prove he was guilty of the same crimes.
Meanwhile, the DA’s office indicted Kellner for supposedly bribing a different alleged victim—who testified before a grand jury but not in the trial that lead to Lebovits’s conviction–who later claimed Kellner had paid him $10,000 to speak out against Lebovits. Kellner was also charged with attempting to extort the Lebovits family. The alleged evidence against Kellner was gathered by Lebovits supporters and family members. The alleged victim who recanted was deemed “wildly inconsistent” by the assistant district attorney, Kevin O’Donnell. Days before the trial against Kellner was supposed to begin the prosecution discovered that the witness had only recanted after accepting financial support from Lebovits’ supporters.
In another article, Rachel Aviv disscussed the Kellner case in greater detail. She writes about the impact of being a whistleblower in an insular community, and explains the subsequent conspiracy to discredit witnesses. Aviv also writes about the cozy relationship between one of Lebovits’ attorneys, Arthur Aidala, and the Brooklyn DA.
The judge, Patricia DiMango, sentenced Lebovits to the maximum penalty on eight counts, to run consecutively, for a total of up to thirty-two years—a harsher sentence than anyone had expected. The average sentence given to defendants convicted of similar crimes is two years. She said, “It is imperative for courts to send a clear and unequivocal message that abusing and harming children will not be tolerated.”
One of Kellner’s relatives told me that after the trial “no one talked about the real issue, the victims. Instead, they talked about the problem of Sam Kellner going on a crusade.” He believed that the lengthy sentence “triggered everything. Now the Lebovits family would not let this go down. They were going to spend millions of dollars and fight, fight, fight.”
Aidala, Lebovits’s defense attorney, told me that the trial was one of the worst and most surprising losses of his career. Immediately, he began second-guessing his strategy. A year before, he had given the district attorney’s office a tape of a recorded conversation that he thought indicated that his client’s family was the target of extortion by Kellner. After discussing it with sex-crimes prosecutors, Aidala had dropped the subject.
Now Aidala wanted to broach the topic of extortion again. He was comfortable in the district attorney’s office, where he had begun his career. He was close to the D.A., Charles Hynes, who had been in office for twenty years, and to his family, and to several top officials. He had volunteered on all of Hynes’s reelection campaigns and frequently attended his fund-raisers.
On April 27, 2010, six weeks after the trial ended, Aidala went to the district attorney’s office and met with the chief of the rackets bureau, Michael Vecchione, who was also a friend. Initially, Aidala didn’t focus on Kellner. He spoke about a case that was easier to substantiate: he said that, days before, a friend of Kellner’s named Simon Taub had extorted the Lebovits family. Taub had said that his son had been molested and threatened to go to the police unless he was compensated by the family. A few weeks later, in a sting operation, detectives from the rackets bureau wired Chaim Lebovits, a businessman who had made a fortune in oil and diamonds. Chaim went to Taub’s home and caught him on tape accepting money.
After he was arrested, Taub said that prosecutors told him, “If you cooperate with us, you will be home in an hour.” They pushed him to implicate Kellner in an extortion plot. Taub said that he didn’t have the information that the prosecutors wanted. “To cooperate, I had to lie,” he told me. Instead, he pleaded guilty to attempted grand larceny and was sentenced to probation. The alleged abuse of his son was never investigated. . . .
A day after Kellner’s arrest, Lebovits’s appeals lawyers, Alan Dershowitz (the former Harvard law professor, who worked on the O. J. Simpson case) and his brother, Nathan, persuaded an appellate judge to free Lebovits on bail, pending the determination of his appeal. Alan Dershowitz, who grew up in Borough Park, told me that “the Kellner information put the government in a difficult position: on the one hand, they are proclaiming that my client was extorted, and, on the other hand, they are claiming that he is guilty of eight felonies.” Within a week, Lebovits was released, after thirteen months in prison. He arrived in Borough Park in time for the first night of Passover and led a Seder at his home.
And there’s more. In March of 2014, Michael Powell wrote about the charges against Kellner being dropped, and how Dershowitz was likely involved in the framing conspiracy in order to protect his extremely wealthy pedophile client, Lebovits. In the article, Powell said:
Mr. Lebovits’s supporters spared few riches in his defense, and hired Alan M. Dershowitz, a Harvard professor. Over the years, Mr. Dershowitz and his partners piled up their accusations like so much cordwood. They claimed to discover witnesses against Mr. Kellner, and prevailed upon Mr. Hynes’s longtime favorite, the ex-rackets chief Michael F. Vecchione, to overrule his own prosecutors and try Mr. Kellner.
“We see Kellner as a leader of a major extortion ring,” Mr. Dershowitz told me last year.
In a baroque touch, Mr. Dershowitz appeared in State Supreme Court on Friday and somehow gained admittance to a pretrial conference with the judge, arguing against the dismissal of the Kellner case. This was marvelous theater.
It was also absurd.
“The idea that a third party — especially on behalf of a criminal defendant accused of crimes by Kellner — could immerse themselves in this case is almost unheard-of, if not comical,” noted Mark A. Bederow, a former Manhattan assistant district attorney.
In a different article on the same topic, Shmarya Rosenberg added this:
All of those witnesses who “lacked any shred of credibility” came to the DA directly from Rabbi Baruch Lebovits’ family, his close supporters and his attorneys – primarily Arthur Aidala and Alan Dershowitz. The question now is, will what in some of these cases has the look of witness tampering and suborning perjury be investigated and prosecuted?
In two letters to the court on July 1 of 2014 (Letter 1 and Letter 2), we get an even deeper look into the depravity, corruption, and deception in the Lebovits case. In these letters, Kellner attorney Niall MacGiollabhui drops a number of bombshells, including:
- It was well known in the community “for decades” that Baruch Lebovits was a serial predator, who avoided punishment due to his wealth and power.
- The Brooklyn DA, Charles Hynes, and the chief of the rackets bureau, Michael Vecchione, worked with the Lebovits family to discredit a witness. This involved supplying the witness with illegal drugs.
- Alan Dershowitz blatantly lied about having “smoking-gun” evidence against Kellner. These smoking guns either contained no truth or did not exist at all.
- Betzalel Dym, a victim of Lebovits and a registered sex offender himself, was persuaded to suddenly say that the abuses that he suffered at the hands of Lebovits were not as severe as he had initially reported. Not only that, Dym also claimed that Kellner, six years prior, coached him say that Lebovits’ crimes were greater than they actually were. When later pressed, Dym admitted that his original story was true.
All of this was preceded by a virtual indictment of the aforementioned Brooklyn DA, Charles Hynes. In a 2012 article, Ray Rivera and Sharon Otterman detailed Hynes’ seeming unwillingness to crack down on pedophiles in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.
In recent months, Mr. Hynes and his aides have said the (Kol Tzedek) program has contributed to an effective crackdown on child sexual abuse among ultra-Orthodox Jews, saying it had led to 95 arrests involving more than 120 victims.
But Mr. Hynes has taken the highly unusual step of declining to publicize the names of defendants prosecuted under the program — even those convicted. At the same time, he continues to publicize allegations of child sexual abuse against defendants who are not ultra-Orthodox Jews. . . .
Through an extensive search of court and other public records, The Times determined the names of suspects and other details in 47 of the 95 cases attributed to the Kol Tzedek program. More than half of the 47 seemed to have little to do with the program, according to the court records and interviews.
Some did not involve ultra-Orthodox victims, which the program is specifically intended to help. More than one-third involved arrests before the program began, as early as 2007. Many came in through standard reporting channels, like calls to the police. . . .
Mr. Hynes seemed to turn a page in 2009 when he announced the creation of Kol Tzedek.
The announcement came in the wake of criticism after a 2008 plea deal he made with Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, a grade school teacher at a Flatbush yeshiva who had been the subject of sexual abuse complaints to rabbinical authorities for more than 30 years.
In the plea deal, which at least one victim’s father opposed, Mr. Hynes reduced two felony counts of sexual abuse to a single misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child. The rabbi received three years’ probation and was not required to register as a sex offender.
And then there is this gem from Shmarya Rosenberg:
Former Brooklyn DA Charles J. Hynes allegedly used money seized from drug dealers and other criminals to, among other things, pay more than $200,000 to a political consultant, Mortimer Matz, who worked on Hynes’ failed re-election campaign in 2013.
Hynes’ right-hand man for many years was the aforementioned Michael Vecchione, who was pushed into retirement after a number of questionable actions. In a 2013 article, Joaquin Sapien describes the circumstances leading up to Vecchione’s resignation.
Earlier this year, ProPublica chronicled Vecchione’s career, finding that he was at the center of some of the office’s most embarrassing scandals. In 2007, Vecchione tried to bring a murder conspiracy case against a former FBI agent, but it imploded when the court learned that a star witness had given inconsistent accounts of the murder accusations. In 2003, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office agreed to release a man it believed responsible for multiple murders after it came to light that Vecchione withheld evidence in the man’s original trial. Last year, a member of Vecchione’s sex trafficking unit resigned following accusations that she withheld a victim’s recantation in a rape case.
But he’s perhaps best-known for his involvement in the wrongful conviction of Jabbar Collins, a Brooklyn man who served 16 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. Collins is now suing the city for $150 million, accusing Vecchione of coercing witnesses, withholding evidence and suborning perjury at his trial in 1995.
All of this corruption eventually led to New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman opening an investigation in August of 2014 into Hynes’ and his staff’s questionable activities. It took the state only 20-plus years and six terms in office to catch up to Hynes and his crew, and conveniently, it happened after his failed bid for a seventh term. You can read more about the investigation here.
As noted previously, attorney Arthur Aidala has a long-standing close relationship with Hynes, and in yet another article (2013) about a pedophile (Menachem Deutsch) who got off easy, Shmarya Rosenberg describes how that friendship worked.
Jump forward about two years to May 30th; Deutsch had a new attorney of record, Arthur (Artie) Aidala. I immediately knew this was bad news for justice.
Aidala specializes in trying to intimidate DA staff by dropping hints about his special connection to District Attorney, Charles J Hynes. Aidala is President of the Charles J Hynes Association and is reputed to be a bundler for his campaign. . . .
The Office of the DA claims the family agreed to the plea deal in order to spare the victims the trauma of testifying. This is the standard line of DAs dependent on Haredi votes when they cut sweetheart deals. But the sequence is strange. Normally it takes a while to get victims ready to testify. It is very unusual for them to be willing to testify from early on and then suddenly change their mind in the run-up to a trial.
I am willing to believe the kids were dreading testifying after they met with Hynes. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall as Hynes empathized with their terror at being tormented on the stand by his buddy, Arthur Aidala.
Dershowitz is also very familiar with both Hynes and henchman Vecchione; in fact, in an article about the wrongful conviction of Jabbar Collins, writer Joaquin Sapien added this interesting tidbit near the end:
Today, Vecchione, 63, remains a senior figure in the office of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes. Hynes has stood by him, heralding Vecchione as a principled lawyer and an effective prosecutor. Both Vecchione and Hynes refused to be interviewed for this article.
Benjamin Brafman and Alan Dershowitz, two prominent defense lawyers who say they have known Vecchione for years, cautioned against concluding Vecchione was guilty of what has been alleged.
“These allegations are based largely on unproved claims made in an adversarial complaint,” the lawyers said in a letter. “They have not yet been subjected to the full truth testing mechanisms of a judicial proceding.”
“In our view,” they asserted, “Mr. Vecchione has not been found to have committed any judicial misconduct.”
A review of Vecchione’s career shows that he has been a lightning rod for criticism for years. In a 1993 murder case, Vecchione was accused of withholding a cooperation agreement between himself and a key witness. State judges have chastised him for over-the-top behavior in court. Some defense lawyers, judges and former colleagues have said Vecchione is an all-too-willing lieutenant to Hynes, a loyalist interested in making headline-producing cases and then winning them at all costs.
On the same topic, the Jabbar Collins case, Michael Powell of the New York Times said:
Mr. Dershowitz, meanwhile, rendered his own service to Mr. Hynes. Earlier this year, Pro Publica, a respected investigative news Web site, published a critical account of Michael F. Vecchione, a close friend of Mr. Hynes and chief of the district attorney’s rackets bureau. The news site’s account detailed “a staggering array of misconduct” by Mr. Vecchione as he led the prosecution of a young black man, Jabbar Collins, in the killing of an Orthodox Jew. After 15 years in prison, a court overturned Mr. Collins’s conviction; he is now suing the Brooklyn district attorney’s office and Mr. Vecchione.
Mr. Dershowitz and the defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman wrote a public letter to Pro Publica, arguing that its account relied on “unproved claims made in an adversarial complaint” and that this was “wrong and defamatory.”
Of course, “defamatory” is word that Dershowitz seems to use often. Then again, when you defend and befriend known pedophiles and defend and befriend corrupt prosecutors, I suppose one should expect to be “defamed,” “denounced,” and any other “de” verb that people might use against a despised person.
Dershowitz is also on record defending Joe Paterno in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child-sex scandal at Penn State. In an article for the Huffington Post, Dershowitz used an irrelevant analogy to seemingly soothe his own conscience:
The moral question, therefore, is whether Paterno did enough by simply conveying the information one step up in the hierarchy to the athletic director, and doing nothing further. Reasonable people can, and do, disagree over the answer to this question. Some take the view that Penn State is a rigidly hierarchical organization, and that in such an organization, it is sufficient to report to one’s superior. Others point out that the Catholic Church too, is a hierarchical organization, and when priests reported abuse to their bishops and the bishops reported the abuse up the hierarchy, the problem persisted. Yet others take the view that if Penn State is a hierarchy like the Vatican, then Paterno was “the Pope,” and the buck stopped with him. He, not his superiors, was the person responsible for reporting the episode to the police. That seems unfair in light of the fact that popes can’t be fired, and yet Paterno was discarded like a bag of putrid garbage, when it served the interests of the Board of Directors to distance themselves from him.
Now, I’m a PA boy, and in fact, I’m wearing a Penn State shirt as I type this, but I will not hide behind the literal interpretation of rules of conduct nor use slippery analogies to defend Paterno. The moral question is simply this: if someone knew or suspected that your son was being sodomized by Sandusky, would you accept “Well, I told my boss.” as their explanation for not going to police? No one, not Paterno, not Mike McQueary, nor anyone else, can be justified in giving that excuse, with the exception being life-or-death circumstances. We’re talking about children being sexually abused, and no man or women with a soul could live with themselves if they allowed the pedophile to continue to prey upon the innocent. Even if taking action meant losing their job and/or facing public ridicule, the human thing to do would be to report the pedophile to law enforcement.
Dershowitz knows such a man who was brave enough to do the humane and moral thing, no matter the repercussions — Sam Kellner. Mr. Kellner tried to protect his son and others from a vile pedophile, Baruch Lebovits, and not only did Dershowitz do everything that he could to defend the pedophile, but he also assisted in a plot to have Kellner put in jail.
Defending Paterno, a non-pedophile to my knowledge, in an opinion piece is one thing, but defending the likes of Epstein, Polanski, and Lebovits in court is another. It’s not the act of defending, in and of itself, that is reprehensible, but rather, it is the fact that none of these pedophiles received a just punishment, freeing them to prey upon more children in a relatively short period of time.
Can you imagine the combined pain of the abuse itself and the indignity of watching the abuser not be appropriately punished because his wealth and power? On top of this, the victims and their advocates often suffer from having their veracity and character attacked by the likes of Dershowitz. The sum of this pain is felt by the victims, their parents, their family, their friends, and their community.
To make matters worse, the pain continues to spread. Child sexual abuse is like a contagious disease — the abused often become abusers. For example, consider the case of the aforementioned Betzalel Dym, a victim of Lebovits, who later became a sex offender himself. The same could be said of convicted pedophile Meir Dascalowitz, who claimed that he was abused by Lebovits (read story here). And there is the previously mentioned Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, whose nephew, Yosef Kolko, pleaded guilty to multiple counts of sexual assault of a young boy (read story here). On a related note, if you can stomach another story about the corrupt DA Hynes, here is a telling story that contrasts the treatment of the older Kolko in Brooklyn to the younger Kolko in Lakewood, New Jersey.
As you can see people like Dershowitz and Hynes bring pain and havoc to entire communities, and for what? Money? Power? Fame? Personally, I could care less why they do it; I just want the sociopaths stopped.