Why Are Convicted Child Molesters Getting Probation?
Stand Up and Be Heard
By: Rabbi Yakov Horowitz
Hudson Valley’s News 12 released this video Thursday evening about the slap-on-the-wrist six year probation sentence given to Herschel Taubenfeld, who pleaded guilty to 30 misdemeanor counts of forcible touching, endangering the welfare of a child and third-degree sex abuse.
This is not an isolated incident, but rather a pattern where Rockland District Attorney Thomas Zugibe is agreeing to and the judges are granting no-jail-time probation “sentences” to child molesters, among them Shmuel Dym and Moishe Turner. (Turner was recently found davening in a Wesley Hill shul until he was banished by people who read about his sex-offender status in our recent emails on the child safety matter.)
There are those who will tell you that these probation “sentences” rehabilitate the predators by frightening them into controlling their evil impulses. I beg to differ. I think they only embolden them as this sends a horrible message that they will never be punished for their heinous crimes.
If you think differently, just have a look at how Turner and Dym, who are both registered sex offenders, (see Turner and Dym in the NYS Sex Offender Registry) responded to their good fortune of avoiding long prison sentences:
• As incredible as it sounds, Turner BLAMED HIS VICTIM for the abuse according to remarks by Rockland County Supreme Court Judge William Kelly. And this happened while the eyes of the media and the criminal justice system were on him!! Can you imagine the contempt for the law Turner has now that the attention is off him??
• Shmuel Dym violated EIGHT conditions of his probationary sentence and was returned to jail. Again, this took place while he was in the process of appealing his own guilty plea.
My dear friends, your children are not safe and will never be safe as long as these miscarriages of justice continue and as long as these monsters who ravage our innocent children are permitted to walk our streets without fear of prosecution and real jail time.
Those of us who work with and do our best to comfort the abuse victims in our community cannot reverse this trend by ourselves.
Sorry to be blunt, but if you want your kids to be able to walk the streets without being abducted and attend shul without being molested, you will need to stand up and be heard.
If you want positive change to occur, take the time to write a respectful email to the DA’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org, to Steve Lieberman who covers the local beat for The Journal News at email@example.com, and file a Citizen Service Request with The Ramapo Police.
Respectfully convey your wishes that those who destroy the lives of our children should be arrested, prosecuted, and sentenced to the fullest extent of the law. From the many conversations I have had with law enforcement officials locally and nationally, many or most of them are under the impression that we want to “handle these matters internally.” And we have all painfully seen how effective that has been.
Law enforcement officials are human beings just like the rest of us. They get frustrated beyond words when they arrest predators who richly deserve long prison sentences and then watch as political pressure is applied and their dedicated efforts are washed away. After this happens a few times, they just throw up their hands.
As a high-ranking police officer once told me years ago, “Rabbi, we can’t care more about your kids than you do.”
My dear friends, let’s start caring more about the kids and less about the monsters who ruin their lives.
It is time to stand up and be heard.
P.S. Parents; please speak to your children about BOTH "Stranger Danger" and overall "Child Safety/Abuse Prevention.
Here are links to 3 free 4-5 minute videos which are designed to give you the tools and language to have safety talks with your kids:
and you can purchase our Project YES child safety book, “Let’s Stay Safe!” online at http://www.rabbihorowitz.com/letsstaysafe/index.html or at any of the local Jewish bookstores.
You can also download our Read-Aloud Video Version of our Child Safety Book here and watch it with your children.
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