Statement from Help Rescue Our Children
In response to the guilty plea of Moshe (Moishe) Turner (of Monsey) last Friday, Jan. 18, Help Rescue Our Children (HROC), an Orthodox Jewish children’s advocacy organization, released the following statement by HROC founder, Rabbi Noson S. Leiter:
“We thank the Ramapo Police once again for the painstaking and sensitive work they did on the prosecution of Mr. Turner, as well as on numerous other molestation cases in the community. We also commend the courageous survivor who came forward here, as well as all of the people – within and outside of various Orthodox, including Chassidic, communities – who assisted in this prosecution.
“Several critical points concerning this case in particular, and molestation in general, must be made:
“Turner’s arrest and prosecution proceeded with the direct support and encouragement of leading Orthodox Rabbis, going back to before his arrest well over a year ago. According to reports, Turner has been molesting children for over 30 years. Turner had become widely known to be a threat to children. The continuing involvement of leading Rabbis brings us closer to properly confronting child-molestation, and rooting out perpetrators who destroy lives and cast our beautiful communities in a bad light.
“It cannot be emphasized enough that secondary abuse—the disbelief, indifference and lack of zealousness by community members (and sometimes even family) to pursue and prosecute perpetrators — can have as devastating, and sometimes even more devastating effects on victims than the molestation itself.
“Incarceration of dangerous perpetrators is crucial for many reasons:
1. It helps victims heal, as their injury is validated, and they see that there is some measure of justice (“Iss Din v’is Dayan”).
2. It encourages other victims to fulfill their Torah-obligations to prosecute.
3. It plays a pivotal role in detering other perpetrators.
4. Most critically, incarceration is crucial to protect the innocent from being victimized. As long as the perpetrator is not behind bars, innocent
children are at risk.
“Plea-deals lacking jail time fail on all four counts.
“This applies to heterosexual molesters, and even more so to homosexual molesters. That is because homosexual child-molesters have far more free access to their victims, especially in communities like the Orthodox community, where access to the opposite gender is greatly constrained.
“Additionally, sentencing must acknowledge the full extent of the crime’s impact. Even those who don’t subscribe to the Biblical worldview, and the prohibition of homosexuality, must concede the following: For the benefit of understanding what victims go through, we must emphasize that homosexual molestation, given its aberrational nature in many communities, takes an even more immense psychological toll on victims, in many cases (see further Talmud Sanhedrin 73a bottom, Rashi “D’lav ur’chei”). This is all the more true in Orthodox society. The impact on the victim must be gauged by the perception of the victim and his society, not that of outsiders.
“We must insist on greater stringency in sentencing of all types of molesters within our communities, as well as on the extension of the statue-of-limitations.
“We condemn in strongest terms the outrageous interference of certain reckless individuals, who – in direct contravention of leading Rabbis (Da’as Torah) – put pressure on family members of the courageous victim who advanced this prosecution. That interference is evidently responsible, in great measure, for the scandalously lenient plea-deal that Mr. Turner got away with – specifically the shocking absence of jail-time – despite his own admission of sodomizing an underage boy.
“The bleeding-heart enablers who suddenly get inspired to help perpetrators must be viewed as actively aiding and abetting the horrific physical, psychological and spiritual damage of sexual molestation. Interestingly, these same “activists” are strikingly absent when victims need help.
“Those with credible information or leads that could help reveal precisely who was complicit in the aforementioned molester-enabling interference are asked to contact us, in confidence. Inasmuch as other prosecutions of dangerous perpetrators are in process – and may be impeded by recidivist enablers – information you provide may actually save lives.
“Remember: The child you save – by the preventive measures to be taken – may be your own.”
Those who seek the help of select, qualified Rabbinic authorities in the process of prosecution of a molester, or in opposing intimidation or molester-enablers, may contact Help Rescue Our Children: 845-642-1679. Ramapo residents who seek to stop a molester or enabler may call the Ramapo Police directly at 357-2400.