Friday, June 06, 2008

Case of Nachman Stal

Case of Nachman Stal
(Stamford Hill) London, England
Tel Aviv, Israel
Kiryat Sefer, Israel

Convicted of raping a boy under the age of 16 in Tel Aviv and indecently assaulting a boy under the age of 16 between December 1998 and February 1999.
Fled Israel before he could be jailed for a sex attack on an underage boy. Nachman Stal, 37, is understood to have been living in secret among the Charedi community of Stamford Hill, North London, since skipping the country in 2006. 

In 1991, the family members of the child victim was physically attacked by a mob for daring to report to the police that their children had been sexually abused.  In that same neighborhood, communal figures were actively fundraising for Nachman Stal's legal expenses both in 1991 and in 2009

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Table of Contents:

  1. How a puncture on the A40 caught a rapist on the run  (06/06/2008)
  2. Rapist faces extradition (11/27/2008)

  1. Rapist to be extradited (06/25/2009)
  2. Charedis raise funds for rapist (09/05/2009)
  3. Stal v Government of the State of Israel (09/19/2009)

  1. 13 years for pedophile who fled Israel  (03/14/2010)
  2. Paedophile who hid in Stamford Hill jailed (03/16/2010)
  3. Covering up a shocking crime (05/21/2010)


How a puncture on the A40 caught a rapist on the run
By Candice Krieger
Jewish Chronical - June 6, 2008

A convicted rapist who fled Israel before he could be jailed for a sex attack on an underage boy was caught last week when police stopped to help him change a wheel on a busy road.

Nachman Stal, 37, is understood to have been living in secret among the Charedi community of Stamford Hill, North London, since skipping the country two years ago.

But he was recaptured last Wednesday when his car had a puncture on the Westway stretch of the A40 in Ladbroke Grove, West London.

Mr Stal, rumoured to be working as a driver in the London area and using a false passport, had pulled over to change the tyre when police in a passing patrol car stopped to help. He was arrested on a provisional extradition warrant after a routine check of police records revealed the driver to be the fugitive Stal.

On Wednesday he appeared at Westminster extradition court via video-link from Wandsworth Prison, where he is being held in custody.

Stal, was convicted of raping a boy under the age of 16 in Tel Aviv between April and May 1998 and indecently assaulting a boy under the age of 16 in Tel Aviv between December 1998 and February 1999.

The incidents allegedly took place in his car. He was convicted in 2006 but fled the jurisdiction — not the first time he had gone missing.

Stal, who used to live in Kiryat Sefer, east of Tel Aviv, was first indicted in 2000 but did not turn up for the trial hearing, and the indictment was cancelled.

It was thought he had fled to Britain. The charges were renewed in September 2004 when he returned to Israel. He was convicted in 2006 but managed to escape for a second time, fleeing the jurisdiction, even though police were holding his passport.

A new remand hearing, again via video-link, will take place on June 25 at Westminster extradition court.

A spokesperson from the Israeli Embassy said: "The Israeli Embassy only knows about such cases when the Israeli citizen involved chooses to notify us and in this case he hasn't.'"

Stamford Hill's Rabbi Avraham Pinter said he was not aware of Stal or that he had been hiding in London.

- A Charedi man was due to appear at Snaresbrook Crown Court today (Friday) accused of raping a 12-year-old boy in a London synagogue toilet.

Moshe Reichman, 24, was charged under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

The rape is alleged to have taken place at the Vinstz Synagogue in Stamford Hill, home to Europe's largest Charedi population.


Rapist faces extradition
Jewish Chronicle - November 27, 2008

A UK court has ordered the extradition of a convicted rapist who fled Israel before he could be jailed for a sex attack on an underage boy.

Nachman Stal, 38, was recaptured in June after police stopped to help him change a tyre on the A40 in West London.

It is believed Stal had lived secretly in Stamford Hill, North London, after leaving Israel in 2006. He had been convicted of raping and indecently assaulting the underage boy in his car in Tel Aviv.

On Wednesday, the City of Westminster Magistrates’ court ordered him to be sent back. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith must approve the judgement.
A final decision is expected in January.


Rapist to be extradited  
By James Brewster 
Jewish Chronicle - June 25, 2009

A convicted sex offender who fled Israel before he could be jailed told judges this week that he didn’t want to be sent home — because he feared a nuclear attack by Iran.

Strictly Orthodox Nachman Stal, 39, left Israel in May 2006 after he was found guilty at a Tel Aviv court of sodomy and indecent assault of a minor.

The married father-of-nine, who prayed in the High Court last Friday as he challenged his extradition, had been accused of assaulting the youth in his car in Tel Aviv in 1998.

After hiding in Stamford Hill, north London, he was recaptured by British police in May last year as he changed a car tyre on the A40 in west London.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith later authorised his extradition. On Friday his appeal was rejected by Lord Justice Stanley Burnton and Mr Justice Wilkie.

Stal told the judges he feared being hurt if his Israeli jail was hit in a rocket attack — or if the country itself was attacked by Iran.

“As long as the state of Israel is threatened with an atomic bomb, one shouldn’t extradite a person to that country,” he told the judges.

“There’s no country in the world that has so many enemies and has suffered so many wars and acts of terror.”

Stal also claimed that the Israeli government’s purpose in taking him back was not in the interests of justice, but as an act of vengeance because he had refused to “lie” and admit to something he did not do and had, instead, absconded.

And, in the absence of segregation for sex offenders, he was scared of being tortured by fellow inmates if he were sent to Israel to serve his punishment, he said.

“I ask and beseech the honourable court, do not cast me to the dogs, to the hands of other prisoners in Israel,” he said, after complaining of beatings he claimed to have suffered while in custody years ago.

“They are very likely to treat me like a vessel that can just be broken, both spiritually and physically.” 

But Mr Justice Wilkie said reports on the state of Israeli prisons suggested that at-risk prisoners could, indeed, be segregated if required, for their safety.

It was “obvious” that, when an offender convicted of a serious offence went on the run, authorities would take great steps in order to bring them to justice, he added.

It was “inconceivable” that a country like Israel, with its heavy concern for the safety of its citizens, would not have appropriate plans to safeguard those in its care.

Stal’s appeal was dismissed and he will now be sent to Israel.

Charedis raise funds for rapist 

By Marcus Dysch
Jewish Chronicle - November 5, 2009

A strictly Orthodox community is running a fundraising campaign for a convicted child molester who avoided jail by hiding in London for two years.

Nachman Stal lived secretly among the Charedi community in Stamford Hill, north London, having fled Israel in 2006 after being found guilty of sodomy and indecent assault of a minor.

The father-of-nine lost an extradition hearing in June and is now serving his sentence in an Israeli prison.

Members of the Stamford Hill community are appealing for money to support his wife and children, who have also returned to Israel.

A fundraising committee spokesman, who asked not to be named, said: “We are trying to raise a large amount both for legal fees and also to support the family. We are doing what we can to help. 

“They were here in London and we tried to help them, they were a nice family.

“There’s lots going on, we have a committee of volunteers. There was a function, a reception, that was endorsed by all the local rabbonim.”

Stal was convicted in 2006 of raping a boy under 16 in Tel Aviv between April and May 1998 and also of indecently assaulting a boy under 16 in the city between December 1998 and February 1999. He fled before he could be sentenced.

The incidents took place in his car. 

The 39-year-old was first indicted in 2000 but failed to appear for his trial and was thought to have escaped to Britain. 

The charges were renewed in 2004 when he returned to Israel but he managed to flee again after the trial using a fake passport.

Asked about Stal’s conviction, the committee spokesman said: “I won’t go into the case, I am purely a link to his family. But the incident was over 10 years ago. People knew him very well while he was here and nobody could say he is a danger to the public. It was one incident.”

Stal was only recaptured by chance in May 2008 when police stopped to help him change a punctured tyre on the A40 in west London. He was arrested after a routine check of police records revealed his fugitive status.

In June he appealed against his extradition, telling the High Court he feared he would not be safe in Israel because of a potential nuclear attack by Iran. 

He told judges he feared being hurt if his Israeli jail was hit in a rocket attack and claimed that in the absence of segregation for sex offenders he would be tortured by fellow inmates.


Stal v Government of the State of Israel
Judgemental - UK case law made unstable - June 19, 2009

Neutral Citation Number: [2009] EWHC 1583 (Admin)



Royal Courts of Justice
London WC2A 2LL

19 June 2009





Computer-Aided Transcript of the Stenograph Notes of
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(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court) 
MR N STAL appeared in person
MISS M CUMBERLAND (instructed by CPS) appeared on behalf of the Defendant

Crown Copyright ©
MR JUSTICE WILKIE: This is an appeal by Nachman Stal against a decision of District Judge Tubbs, dated 26 November 2008, authorising his extradition to Israel. Mr Stal, at that stage, was represented by solicitors who settled substantive grounds of appeal, essentially along the same lines of the argument which had been advanced before the District Judge.

Mr Stal has appeared before us in person, unrepresented, his solicitors having withdrawn a few days before the hearing. He has presented his case through an interpreter and we are extremely grateful to the interpreter for the conscientious and efficient way in which Mr Stal's representations have been interpreted for us. We may say that, although at times his representations became somewhat repetitious and bordered on the irrelevant, for the most part they were courteously presented, elegant, learned, and impassioned.

I first deal with the history of the criminal proceedings, the subject of the extradition. On 17 April 2000 Mr Stal was indicted by the Tel Aviv - Jaffa Magistrates' Court for offences of sodomy of a minor and performing an indecent act on a minor, each of them said to have been committed in 1998. Shortly after he was indicted he left Israel and came to England and Belgium, but in September 2004 he returned voluntarily to Israel, was arrested, and was detained for a period of a week or perhaps slightly longer before he was given bail.

On 2 May 2006, at a trial at which he was present and was represented by a lawyer, he was convicted of the two offences for which he was indicted. The court fixed a hearing for 24 May, some three weeks later, when he was to be sentenced. He remained on bail but was required to increase the amount of the security deposited with the court. He failed to deposit the additional sum, and in fact left Israel in breach of the court's order. Those two acts, the failure to post additional security and fleeing from the proceedings, form the basis of the two other offences for which Israel seeks his extradition, in addition to seeking his extradition in respect of the matters for which he was convicted in May 2006.

He was arrested 2 years later, on 28 May 2008, and on 18 June 2008 the Government of Israel issued an extradition request which was duly certified by the Secretary of State under the statutory regime. There was no dispute but that the conduct the subject of the request, both in respect of what he had been convicted of and the new allegations, constitute extradition offences within the meaning of the 2003 Act.

Before the District Judge the defence was a single issue defence, namely that extradition would not be compliant with convention rights under section 87 of the 2003 Act, it being submitted that there were substantial grounds for believing that if the defendant were extradited to Israel he would be subject to torture or inhuman and degrading treatment contrary to Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Essentially, the case was that conditions in Israeli prisons, in respect of the average size of cell, the inadequate sanitation and ventilation, were such that, for this particular defendant, of whom a psychiatric report had concluded that he was currently suffering from a depressive illness, were such that there were substantial grounds for believing that there was a real risk of a breach of Article 3 in the form of the possibility that he would, in those conditions, with his depressive illness, commit self harm. The bases for that contention were reliance upon a report, being a Public Defender's report of detention and imprisonment conditions at prison facilities of the Prison Service during the year 2007. It was said that that highly critical, though as the District Judge concluded, balanced and measured report, described conditions such that, on that basis, rolled together with the psychiatric state of the defendant, it would be a breach of Article 3 for him to be extradited.

The District Judge, in a very full, and in my judgment, well reasoned decision, having considered that report, and having considered the relevant authorities, concluded that the case came nowhere near establishing that there would be a breach of Article 3. It is of importance to record that in the case of the Crown on behalf of Ullah v Special Adjudicator [2004], 2 AC 323, Lord Bingham distinguished between domestic cases, so called, and foreign cases, so called, the latter being those in which it is claimed that the conduct of the state in removing a person from its territory to another territory will lead to a violation of the person's convention rights in that other territory. Slightly later on in his speech in that case, at paragraph 24, he said this:

Furthermore, the question of reliance upon reports giving a general account of conditions was considered by this court, a different constitution, in the case of Miklis v Deputy Prosecutor General of Lithuania [2006] EWHC 1032 Admin. Latham LJ, in the course of his judgment at paragraph 11, said as follows:

In the course of her judgment, the District Judge did consider the defendant's personal characteristics, however, she also considered certain passages in the Public Defender's report, and in particular the passage at page 1 of the report which reads as follows:

In the concluding summary of that report, the following passage:

The District Judge, having had regard to that report, said this:

Having considered the personal characteristics she then went on to conclude:

Accordingly on that basis she found that there was no real risk of an Article 3 breach.

In so far as the grounds of appeal settled by the solicitors then acting sought to reargue those conclusions, on the evidence which we have seen, and in particular the content of the Public Defender's report in its entirety, we are perfectly satisfied that the District Judge came to the correct conclusions in rejecting those submissions. However, in his address to us, Mr Stal has effectively recast his case so as to present a fundamentally different case, and indeed has given an account, effectively in evidence, which was not an account presented to the District Judge.

We are not obliged to consider evidence which could sensibly have been given before the District Judge. In so far as some of his account is evidence of his own experience, plainly, that could and should have been presented to the District Judge, and therefore, although we have heard it, and I will in a moment deal with it, it can not properly constitute the basis of an appeal against the District Judge.

Mr Stal seeks to make one main point, which is that responding to the extradition request will put his life in danger. He sub-divides that main point into three subsections: The first is that being in prison in Israel would present danger for him. The second is that the objective of the Israeli Government in seeking his extradition is not in good faith, is not for the pursuit of justice, but is in the way of their seeking personal vengeance against him. The third is that if he were extradited to Israel, then, as a prisoner, he would be in particular danger in the event of attacks from Israel's enemies, whether from within or outside the territory of the state.

As to the first, he seeks to rely on his account of what happened when he spent a few days in prison before his trial, having returned voluntarily to Israel whilst indicted for these offences. He says that when it became known what offences he was charged with he was substantially ill treated by his fellow prisoners and was given no protection whatsoever by the prison authorities. Furthermore, he says that if he returned as a person convicted of that kind of offence he fears that that ill treatment would, not only continue, but would be intensified because, he says, there is no arrangement in Israeli prisons, such as there is in the prisons in the United Kingdom, to protect certain categories of prisoner by effectively segregating them from the general prison population. As we have indicated, that was all evidence which could and should have been presented to the District Judge but was not. In any event it is clear from the report of the Public Defenders, to which we have referred, and in particular at page 19, that they did consider the question of separation between various types of prisoner. Whilst it is right to say that they have said that in most detention facilities there is not separation between different types of prisoners, or between suspects on bail and convicted prisoners, there are provisions for prisoners in need of protection to be held separately in a small cell which creates great pressure on the conditions of the external adjoining cell. Furthermore, they dealt with what they perceived as a serious shortage of remedial therapy programs for sex offenders, but it is also clear from that passage, which is at pages 10 and 11 of the report, that this too is an area which is currently being addressed. We have no doubt in concluding that, whilst the conditions for convicted sex offenders in Israeli prisons may not be pleasant, just as they are not pleasant for such persons in the UK, what is described in the Public Defender's analysis of prison conditions falls very far short of giving rise to the kind of risk which would involve an extradition being in breach of Article 3.

The second basis is the assertion that the objective of the state is personal vengeance, not seeking justice. Mr Stal has said that he is informed by his wife that on the occasion when it became apparent in court that he had fled the jurisdiction there was considerable anger expressed on the part of the prosecution, on the part of the judiciary, and indeed on the part of his own lawyers. It may well be, and indeed in my own experience as a judge, that when somebody fails to appear and those who represent him do not feel able to offer any excuse they may indicate their disappointment that their client has not attended. It is undoubtedly the case that the court will not look with approval upon such conduct. In addition, he says that he has been told recently that the police, in trying to find him, went to considerable efforts such that members of his community were asked to speak to the police, and the police said that they had received orders from on high to put to one side routine activities within his district in order to try to find him. It was given a higher profile in his district than perhaps capturing terrorists. Once again, if someone who has been convicted of serious offences simply absconds, it is scarcely surprising if the police make significant efforts, certainly in the short term, to try to find them. Indeed, it would be a dereliction of their public duty if they failed to do so. He reports that, according to his brother, who has reported to his wife, who has told him within the last week or so, blood curdling threats were made by a senior police officer, apparently on a higher authority, that they were determined both to catch him and, when caught, to imprison him with terrorists and to seek his death either through his own hands or the hands of others. He says the reason that he has only found this out in the last week is that his family did not want to distress him, and the reason for this apparently very pointed personal animosity was the fact that he had not agreed to lie to the police by admitting that which he maintains he did not do.

The approach to an allegation of bad faith on the part of a government seeking extradition has been the subject of specific authority in the case of Deya v the government of Kenya [2008] EWHC 2914, where, in a wide ranging review of what would be required to show a breach of Article 3 rights, in that case in connection with prison conditions in Kenya, the following was stated at paragraph 40 of the judgment of the court:

The citation in that case, in support of that proposition, was to the case of Ahmad and Aswat v The Government of the United States of America [2006] EWHC 2927 Admin, at paragraph 101.

We have little doubt, having observed Mr Stal, that he is sincere in stating his fears and his concerns. However, his family have not been incarcerated, and if, indeed, what he is reporting to us were material that they had in their possession then it is extraordinary that, over the period of years that this matter has been proceeding, there has been no hint of any such account in any of the documentation or in any of the submissions made by him or on his behalf until this morning. In my judgment, the assertions made by Mr Stal, however cogently made, fall very far short of evidence of special force required to displace the fundamental assumption of good faith in this particular jurisdiction.

The third matter really is based on his assertion that prisoners within the prison system would be at special risk, over and above the general population, in the event of the state of Israel being subjected to attack, either internally or from outside, and whether by conventional arms or conventional rockets or nuclear attack. He has developed very extensively his belief that such attacks are highly likely, if not imminent. In my judgment, once again, whilst it may be a statement of the obvious that someone who is in prison is not able of their own volition to escape either attacks as they are happening, or the risk of attack, it is inconceivable in my judgment that, the state of Israel in particular, with its highly developed sense of concern over the security of its own citizens and the safety of its own citizens, would not have contingency plans to ensure that those who are within its care, such as those in hospital and in prison, have appropriate arrangements made to safeguard them in the event of such attacks occurring. In my judgment, what Mr Stal has asserted, again, comes nowhere near establishing the necessary risk of inhuman treatment to trigger a breach of Article 3.

Accordingly, whilst not for a moment doubting the sincerity of his concerns, in my judgment this is an appeal which, whether on the grounds settled by his solicitors, or the grounds which he has advanced this morning, must fail and I would dismiss it.


MISS CUMBERLAND: My Lords, could I invite your Lordships to remand the appellant in custody prior to his extradition. Thank you.

LORD JUSTICE STANLEY BURNTON: He will be remanded in custody.


13 years for pedophile who fled Israel
By Yoav Zitun
YNET News - March 14, 2010

Nachman Stal, who fled to Britain after being accused of sodomizing a youth of 14 years, was sentenced Sunday to 13 years behind bars.

Stal, who was extradited to Israel in July last year, received 12 years' imprisonment for sexual offenses and an additional year for evading justice. Tel Aviv District Court also criticized rabbis who had come to Stal's defense.

The legal proceedings began a decade ago, when Stal was accused of indecent acts with a youth he had given a lift to as part of his job. According to the indictment, Stal touched the youth a number of times, and during one particular trip he stopped the vehicle near a bench, in a quiet place, and despite the youth's protests, sodomized him. 

He then gave the youth NSI 200 ($50) and instructed him not to tell anyone. The youth finally told the rabbi of the school where he was studying. With support from this rabbi, he then submitted a complaint against Stal with the police. 

In 2000, the accused fled Israel to Belgium, and the indictment was cancelled. A new indictment was submitted in 2005 when Stal returned to Israel, and one year later he again fled, this time to Britain.
The judges, headed by Judge George Kara, severely criticized the witnesses for the defense, including the wife and father of the accused, head of London's South Tottenham Jewish community Rabbi Michael Biberfeld, and Rabbi Yosef Krauser, who supervises the yeshivas in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood. 

The four witnesses praised Stal during the trial. "There was no problem with him," the London rabbi said. "His actions were completely normal." Krauser added, "I pity his wife and nine children. They say he regrets his acts and he must be helped." 

Stal's father said his son was a wonderful person, though he had noticed a decline in his son's behavior since 1990. His father and the defense team claimed that Stal had suffered from a brain tumor in 1997 which had affected his face and limbs. 

The court noted that "all the witnesses saw the accused and his family as victims. They also tried to describe the accused as repentant. Why did none of the witnesses refer to the plaintiff, the only real victim? It would be expected of respected rabbis to say something, even if only a word, about the criminal actions of the accused. Why should they expect pity from the court when they don't have any pity for the victim?" 

The court also queried whether those same rabbis were supposed to ignore the danger to the public posed by the accused. "Is an offense against someone from outside their community not considered an offense?" 

The judges also referred to Stal's acts.  "The accused took advantage of the victim's innocence and chose him in order to carry out his deviant acts," they wrote. "The accused tempted the victim a number of times, so that he would be easy prey." 

In addition to the penalty of imprisonment, the court ruled that Stal must pay his victim compensation of NIS 50,000 ($13,500).


Paedophile who hid in Stamford Hill jailed 
By Marcus Dysch
Jewish Chronicle - March 16, 2010 

A paedophile who fled to London to escape justice in Israel has been jailed for 13 years for raping a teenage boy.

Nachman Stal lived secretly among the Charedi community in Stamford Hill, north London.

He had left Israel in 2006 after being found guilty of sodomy and indecent assault of a minor. 

The father-of-nine was only recaptured by chance in May 2008 when police stopped to help him change a punctured tyre in west London.

After he was extradited last June, members of the Stamford Hill community appealed for money to support his wife and children, who also returned to Israel.

On Sunday, Tel Aviv District Court sentenced him to 12 years’ imprisonment, with an additional year added to the term for his evasion of justice. Judges severely criticised London rabbis who aided him.
Stal was also ordered to pay his victim NIS 50,000 [£8,830] in compensation.


Covering up a shocking crime
While US and Israeli Charedi communities have been rocked by sex abuse, are we treating the issue seriously enough?
By Miriam Shaviv
Jewish Chronicle - May 21, 2010 

No subject has irritated the Orthodox world more, this year, than sexual abuse perpetrated by its religious leaders.

In America, the community has had to accept the arrest of 26 strictly Orthodox men in Brooklyn on charges of child molestation. Eight have been convicted; the rest await trial. Many of these have been extremely high-profile, for example Baruch Lebovits, a prominent rabbi who was convicted last month on six counts of sexual abuse. Earlier this year, he was also accused of abusing Motty Borger, a 24-year-old who committed suicide two days after his January wedding, having confided to his new bride that he had been molested as a teenager. 

In Israel, the scandal of the year - in a state full of scandals - broke when a group of senior rabbis publicly accused Mordechai Elon, long regarded as the leading rabbi in the religious Zionist camp, of conducting long-term sexual relationships with several of his (male) students. 

Meanwhile, the panel that exposed Rabbi Elon as a predator has admitted that it has privately issued sanctions to an unspecified number of other rabbis it believes are guilty of abuse.

It is very likely that we in the UK have our share of abusers, too

And here in the UK? Well, nothing much to report. No arrests; no charges; no scandals. It is possible, I suppose, that our community is particularly saintly. But, sadly, it seems far more likely that we are not so different from the Orthodox communities in New York and Jerusalem, and that we, too, have our share of abusers.

In fact, at least three of the men convicted overseas have British connections. Rabbi Lebovits claimed that as a teenager he himself had been a victim of abuse - by an uncle in London. Nachman Stal, convicted in Israel of the rape of one boy and indecent assault of another, managed to flee to the UK in 2006 on a fake passport and sheltered in Stamford Hill for two years. And American rabbi, Yisrael Weingarten, was found guilty last year of molesting his daughter in several countries, including England; he was a teacher, for a while, in a Satmar school here. 

If this is what we are importing, how many home-grown abusers do we have as well?

In the light of events in the US and Israel (not to mention the Catholic church), this is a pressing question. Simply recognising that abuse is possible - including in our best institutions, by our most popular teachers and by rabbis - is half the battle. 

Although statistically, the Orthodox are no more likely than any other group to suffer abuse, denial runs extremely deep. Witness, for example, the hundreds of young men who flocked to Rabbi Elon's home to show support, even after it was clear that he was not going to deny the charges.

The abuse needs to be taken seriously. Everyone needs to understand that it is the victim who needs to be protected - not the perpetrator. 

In 1991, a Stamford Hill family was physically attacked by a mob for daring to report to the police that their children had been sexually abused. In that same neighbourhood today, communal figures are actively fundraising for Nachman Stal's legal expenses.

Meanwhile, in America, time and again, known abusers have been protected by their communities, sometimes for decades, just because they were respected rabbis or headmasters. The children were apparently expendable.

The good news is that the battle against abuse is winnable. Notably in the US, Orthodox attitudes to sexual abuse have undergone a seismic change, with awareness soaring over the past couple of years and senior rabbis and leaders encouraging victims to come forward, and to report crimes directly to the police, rather than trying to handle cases internally.

But this is still far from the norm. Vigilance is still required - from all of us.


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