Brooklyn DA Won't Release Names Of Orthodox Jewish Sex Offenders [View all]
Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes has consistently refused to divulge the identities of Orthodox Jews accused and convicted of sex crimes, giving a blanket exemption to sex offenders who commit their crimes in tight-knit Orthodox communities. Now his office has been compelled to formally explain why it won't name the accused and convicted. In response to a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request by The Forward, Assistant District Attorney Morgan Dennehy argues that releasing the names of suspects would allow others in the community to identify their victims. She writes:
The circumstances here are unique. Because all of the requested defendant names relate to Hasidic men who are alleged to have committed sex crimes against Hasidic victims within a very tight-knit and insular Brooklyn community, there is a significant danger that the disclosure of the defendants’ names would lead members of that community to discern the identities of the victims.
But the Forward points out that last year Hynes announced the arrests of 85 Orthodox Jews on sex crimes charges since 2008, refusing to release the suspects’ names, citing the need to protect the victims. "Yet that same week, Hynes issued a press release publicizing the name of a non-Jewish man convicted of raping his girlfriend’s daughter," The Forward's Paul Berger notes. "Hynes released the man’s name, the neighborhood where he lived and the victim’s age, enough information for any neighbor to identify the girl."