"It is impossible that an Orthodox Chassidic person would even speak to a female, much less touch her."
- Two Rabbis Are Charged In Sexual Abuse on a Plane (06/02/1995)
- Grand jury to hear sexual misconduct case involving rabbis (06/06/1995)
- Officials Seize Records Of Jewish Charity Group (11/20/1996)
- Rabbi Made Threats In Rape Case: Probers (05/14/1999)
- Rabbi charged with tampering: State police liaison dismisses misdemeanor as pure garbage (05/15/1999)
- Brooklyn Rabbi Charged With Witness Tampering (05/16/1999)
- Rabbi on state police payroll (05/27/1999)
- A prominent Hasidic rabbi has been charged with making death threats (06/23/1999)
- Rabbi Is Charged With Threatening a Witness in a Rape Case (06/23/1999)
- Rabbi adviser to State Police indicted (06/24/1999)
- N.Y. rabbi accused of death threats (07/09/1999)
- Rabbi's Lawyers Charged, TOO, Intimidation Case (07/14/1999)
- Rabbi's Lawyer Expects to Face Charges in Death Threat Case (07/14/1999)
- 2 Lawyers Join 2 Rabbis Accused of Tampering (07/15/1999)
- Lawyers charged in probe of rabbis (08/06/1999)
- Rabbi Is Acquitted In Death Threat Case (03/07/2000)
- Da & Staff Draw Fire From Rabbis (03/08/2000)
- Rabbis' Ruling May Nix Bid To Indict Suspect in Kid-Sex Rap (03/11/2000)
- Orthodox Jews, Angered Over Recent Cases, Up in Arms Against Brooklyn D.A. (03/15/2000)
- Brooklyn rabbi acquitted (03/16/2000)
- Rabbi Bernard Freilich on Incest (02/18/2003)
- Silence of the Lamb (07/25/2006)
- Brooklyn, NY - Rabbi Bernard Freilich Hugs DA Charles Hynes Who Prosecuted Him (05/01/2007)
- Albany, NY - Rabbi Bernard Freilich Honoring Fallen Troopers (05/20/2007)
- New York State Police Superintendent Visits Satmar Community (06/08/2010)
- Rabbi wearing a badge not a police officer (03/07/2011)
- Case of Rabbi Yehudah Friedlander
- Case of Rabbi Israel Grunwald
- Case of Rabbi Solomon Hafner
- Case of Rabbi Dr. Avrohom Mondrowitz
By Kristen Schweizer and Oliver Mackson
Assoicated Press - May 15, 1999
BROOKLYN -- A rabbi employed by State Police as a liaison to the Orthodox community was charged Thursday with threatening a rape/incest victim not to testify against her father. Rabbi Bernard Freilich, who earns $76,000 a year as a special assistant to State Police Superintendent James McMahon, was charged with witness tampering, a misdemeanor. Freilich has worked since 1995 as a State Police liaison. Though he is based in Borough Park, Freilich spends much of his time working with local police and Hasidic communities in the Hudson Valley.
His arrest Thursday happened two weeks after Freilich was asked by the Monticello “re chief to help with an investigation into three ã€“res at a Kiamesha yeshiva. The ã€“re chief branded the ã€“res arsons. Freilich told The Times Herald-Record it was not arson, but religious bondaries. Thursday afternoon in Brooklyn, Freilich turned himself in to police and was subsequently charged with witness tampering, said Detective Joe Pentangelo, a spokesman with the New York City Police Department.
Following his arrest, Freilich was relieved of his official duties and suspended without pay by the State Police "until the matter is resolved," said Lt. Jamie Mills, a State Police spokeswoman. Though he works for the State Police, Freilich's salary is paid by the New York State Health Department, for reasons that were unclear yesterday. In the past, Freilich has helped State Police deal with secular and religious matters in several communities, including the Orange County Village of Kiryas Joel. The village is composed almost entirely of Satmar Hasidic Jews.
He has conducted seminars for new troopers in Monroe, explaining some of the more esoteric points of life in the insular community. The village has been the scene of factional feuding, which at times has turned violent. State Police patrol the village, and they often encounter a language barrier with the Yiddish-speaking Hasidim. "It's not that some communities are more sensitive than others - but where customs are involved, there needs to be understanding," the rabbi said in a 1995 interview with The Times Herald-Record. “There should be the same respect for the Muslim community, for every community."
Mills said one of Freilich's duties with both departments is as a “spiritual adviser." Prior to his arrest, Freilich was identified by a 22-year-old woman and her husband as the man who threatened both of them if the woman testified in court, Pentangelo said. On April 25, Freilich and two others were charged with threatening the woman, he said. The alleged rape happened in February.
The Daily News reported yesterday that Freilich went to the woman's home and warned her that if she testifed against her father in the case "she would end up in the cemetery." Freilich allegedly threatened the woman's husband the next day. The woman's father was charged Feb. 28 with first-degree rape, incest, sex abuse and harassment. He was arrested again on April 22 for witness tampering and criminal contempt - the father had violated an order of protection by pounding on his daughter's door yelling, “If you do not cancel your police report, this is your last day in this world,“ according to court records. Freilich told the Daily News the charges were ã€“pure garbage.“
“There is no reason for me to be arrested,“ he said. Freilich has given invaluable help to the State Police in Kiryas Joel, said Senior Investigator John Van Der Molen, the supervisor of investigators at the State Police Monroe barracks. Because of the communityã€“s insularity, victims - and witnesses - of crimes in Kiryas Joel are sometimes difficult to locate and interview.
“A lot of times, the Hasidic people are reluctant to talk to authorities, and he's the go-between that I'll make the arrangements,“ Van Der Molen said. “If we have reluctant witnesses, he draws them out and gets them to us.“
Freilich also translates for troopers from Yiddish. “He has a lot of power and respect in the community, Van Der Molen said. My dealings with him in Monroe have been very positive. He's been a great assistance, numerous times, with investigations going on there. I've never had any bad dealings with the guy.
Grand jury to hear sexual misconduct case involving rabbis
By William K. Rashbaum
New York Daily News - Friday, May 14, 1999
A politically connected Brooklyn rabbi was charged yesterday with threatening an alleged rape-incest victim with death if she testified against her father, authorities said.
Police charged Bernard Freilich, who holds posts with the state police and Health Department, with misdemeanor witness tampering. Sources said prosecutors will present the case to a grand jury and seek felony charges.
The $76,000-a-year special assistant to state police Superintendent James McMahon went to the alleged victim's home April 25 and warned that if she testified, "she would end up in the cemetery," authorities said.
Freilich, a prominent Hasidic rabbi in Borough Park, threatened her husband the next day, authorities said.
The state police said in a statement that Freilich had been suspended without pay and relieved of his duties, which "included being a spiritual adviser to the state police and the Health Department."
By OLIVER MACKSON
Record OnLine - June 24, 1999
NEW YORK – A Brooklyn rabbi who serves as a $76,000-a-year "spiritual adviser" to the State Police was indicted Tuesday on felony charges of tampering with and intimidating a witness.
A Brooklyn grand jury handed up the indictment of Rabbi Bernard Freilich, 47, of Borough Park, a month after he was first charged with threatening a rape victim of the consequences if she testified against her father, the suspect.
Freilich, a leader in the Hasidic Jewish community in Borough Park, is accused of telling the 22-year-old woman that he would "teach her a lesson and send her to the cemetery" if she testified against her father.
The indictment won't have any effect on Freilich's State Police job, state officials said. He has been suspended without pay since his arrest last month.
"He continues on suspension until the criminal matter is resolved," said Lt. Jamie Mills, a State Police spokeswoman.
Although he is based in Borough Park, Freilich has spent much of his time since he was hired in 1975 working as a liaison between police and Hasidic communities in the Hudson Valley and the Catskills, including the Orange County Village of Kiryas Joel.
No other religious or ethnic group has a similar intermediary on the state payroll, a fact that troubles three local members of the state Assembly.
In interviews with The Record last month, Tom Kirwan, R-C-Newburgh, said the job was "obviously a payoff. I think it's outrageous that we do that." Kirwan is a retired member of the State Police.
Reps. Nancy Calhoun, R-C-Blooming Grove and Jake Gunther, D-C-Forestburgh, also questioned whether the position should exist.
It was first established in 1984 by then-Gov. Mario Cuomo, with the title of special assistant to the State Police superintendent.
Neither Pataki or Cuomo responded last month to numerous requests by The Record to discuss the post. Calls yesterday to Pataki's office were referred to Caroline Quartoraro, a spokeswoman for Katherine Lapp, the state's director of criminal justice.
"I don't think we're going to respond to Tom Kirwan," Quartoraro said yesterday.
"Most large police departments have somebody who's a chaplain. In that respect, the State Police having a chaplain is just like, say, an Army chaplain or any other police department having a chaplain," Quartoraro said.
Kenny Jones, secretary-treasurer of the State Police Investigators Association, said the 900 members of his union don't consider Freilich a spiritual adviser.
"I would say the vast majority of them, 80 percent or more, are Christian. I can't imagine anything more offensive than to say that one person is a spiritual leader to all members. I am sure I don't have one Hasidic member," Jones said yesterday. "The rabbi, the so-called spiritual adviser, is not the spiritual adviser for his own community. He's a political operative."
By William K. Rashbaum and Jerry Capeci
Two politically connected Brooklyn lawyers have been charged with conspiring with a prominent Hasidic rabbi to intimidate an incest-rape victim from testifying against her father, sources said yesterday.
George Meissner and Richard Finkel are expected to surrender today and will be arraigned in Brooklyn on charges they conspired with Rabbi Bernard Freilich, who was arrested on witness-tampering charges May 13, sources said.
Neither of the two lawyers returned calls seeking comment yesterday.
Meissner and Finkel represented the rabbi, who allegedly threatened the woman with death if she testified.
Charges against Freilich, who is now represented by Peter Schlam, were upraded last month from misdemeanor to felony.
Freilich and Pinchas Shor, another rabbi charged with the same crimes, pleaded not guilty yesterday before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Betsy Barros. Both were released on their own recognizance.
Shor showed up with scores of supporters, many who said they would be alibi witnesses.
"It never happened," Shor said. "I never threatened anyone. I help people, I don't threaten people."
Shor is charged with threatening the woman with injury if she testified.
Freilich, who holds a $76,000 state job with the state police and the Health Department, declined to comment.
"The indictment against Rabbi Freilich is without merit, and he will be vindicated," Schlam said.
He added that Freilich has passed a lie-detector test, and has offered to take another one administered by prosecutors an offer that has been declined, Schlam said.
Meissner is a fixture in Brooklyn Democratic politics, having served as a district leader in the 1970s, when he had ties to then-Brooklyn Democratic boss Meade Esposito. He now has an active criminal-law practice in Brooklyn's Orthodox community and has been involved in several high-profile cases.
Rabbi's Lawyer Expects to Face Charges in Death Threat Case
2 Lawyers Join 2 Rabbis Accused of Tampering
By Bob Liff
New York Daily News - Wednesday, March 08, 2000
Leaders of Brooklyn's Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish communities lashed out at District Attorney Charles Hynes yesterday, one day after Borough Park Rabbi Bernard Freilich was acquitted on charges of witness tampering.
"This was a bunch of hatred, anti-Semitism, pure politics without a penny of merit," Rabbi Leib Glanz, a leader in Williamsburg's Satmar Hasidim, said of Hynes' decision to bring the case against Freilich. "He should investigate everyone in his office who brought this case."
Freilich, 48, was acquitted on charges he threatened a couple in an attempt to get them to drop sexual abuse charges against the wife's father. His indictment last year sent shock waves through Borough Park, where Freilich serves as a key liaison with political leaders as well as the city police and is a special assistant to the State Police.
Five other men, including the father of the alleged sexual abuse victim and two prominent lawyers, also face witness tampering charges in cases which appear to be undercut by Freilich's acquittal.
Rabbis' Ruling May Nix Bid To Indict Suspect in Kid-Sex Rap
by Al Guart
New York Post, Saturday, March 11, 2000
The panel, reportedly headed by Manhattan Rabbi David Feinstein and two rabbis from Brooklyn and two from upstate Monsey, cleared Bobover Rabbi Solomon Hafner on Thursday evening of any wrongdoing, sources said.
Hafner, 40, was charged last January with sexually abusing a developmentally disabled boy. A grand jury is hearing evidence in the case.
Leading Bobover Rabbi Chaim Tauber was caught on tape yesterday discussing the panel's ruling and predicting it might have an impact on Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes' grand-jury probe of the charges.
"They came out with a resolution that Rabbi Hafner is clean as a whistle," Tauber said on a tape reviewed by the Post.
Asked about the effect the ruling would have on potential witnesses, Tauber said, "They have nothing to cooperate with. They have nothing to say.
There is no one coming forward to blame."
Tauber could not be reached yesterday. His wife confirmed such a conversation took place but was surprised it had been taped.
The ruling of a Beit Din -- a rabbinical court -- holds sway over members of Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish communities, even more than secular authorities.
It is also seen by some as a means of trying to influence Hynes, who has been under fire from parts of the Jewish community for charging another rabbi with witness-tampering.
Last week, Hynes' office lost the case against Bernard Freilich, who was charged with threatening a couple to drop sexual-abuse charges.
"My concern is that actions like this might put a damper on rabbis and others in the community from coming forward with allegations such as this," said lawyer Michael Lesher, who revealed the rabbinical court's ruling to The Post.
"I would like to know what evidence they had and what significance this is supposed to have while a grand jury is pending," Lesher said.
"I am not at liberty to talk about this," Rabbi Feinstein said.
Orthodox Jews, Angered Over Recent Cases, Up in Arms Against Brooklyn D.A. - Hynes and His `Haman'
by Rebecca Segall
Village Voice - March 15 - 21, 2000
Brooklyn rabbi acquitted
JTA - March 16, 2000
NEW YORK (JTA) -- A leading rabbi in Brooklyn was acquitted of having made death threats against a woman who had accused her father of rape.
Five witnesses still face witness-tampering charges in the case in which Rabbi Bernard Freilich was found innocent. The woman's father still must stand trial on the rape charges.
Vos Iz Neias - May 1, 2007
Brooklyn, NY - A source who attended a $1,000-a-head fundraiser last night at the Rose Castle in Williamsburg for Rep. Ed Towns witnessed a double-take moment when he spotted Hasidic Rabbi Bernard Freilich hugging the very man who prosecuted him in a death threat case in the 1990s - Kings County DA Charles Hynes.
Freilich was aquitted of felony charges of witness tampering in 2000. Hynes had accused him of making death threats against a young woman who accused her father of raping her, ostensibly in an effort to get her to drop the charges.
Hynes’prosecution of Freilich angered the Orthodox Jewish Community, which called for his removal after the rabbi was cleared.
The event for Towns was hosted by Satmar Rabbi Leib Glanz, who is Towns’ finance chair and executive director of the United Talmudical Academy, a nonprofit.
According to my source, the attendees includes: Two potential mayoral candidates (Weiner and Thompson), one potential comptroller candidate (Weprin), and at least one other Congressman (Meeks).
Mayor Bloomberg was touted on the invite to this event, but he didn’t show up. According to a Bloomberg aide, the mayor was never scheduled to attend. This discrepency is evidently the source of some disagreement in the Satmar community, and since I don’t know enough about it, I’m going to leave it at that.
Albany, NY - Rabbi Bernard Freilich Honoring Fallen Troopers
Vos Iz Neias - May 20, 2007
Albany, NY - The hard work and service of fallen, injured and active state troopers was recognized last week by Gov. Eliot Spitzer and Acting State Police Superintendent Preston Felton.
More than 50 honorees were recognized for bravery, investigative persistence, police education, traffic safety and community service during the New York State Police 31st Annual Awards Day Ceremonies and Memorial Service at the state police academy in Albany.
“The men and women of the New York State Police represent the best of what it means to be a New Yorker. They are devoted and dedicated to duty and the service of the public,” Spitzer said. “We owe them all our thanks, support, gratitude and respect.”
Families and friends gathered for a memorial service for the fallen troopers outside of the academy, featuring a live-fire salute and a helicopter flyover. Rabbi Bernard Freilich gave the benediction honoring the fallen troopers.
“Bless those who have fallen, so others can stand,” he said of the fallen troopers. “They are a beacon of light for all those assembled here today.” [Legislative Gazette]
Rabbi Freilich Confirmed this morning to VIN, that he gave the benediction, He also added that the new NY State Police Superintendent Preston Felton, is very appreciative, helpful, and understating to Jewish community’s issues.
Satmar News - June 8, 2010
Newly-appointed New York State Police Superintendent Harry Corbitt visited Williamsburg last night, where he met with the Satmar Rebbe of Williamsburg, Rav Zalman Leib Teitelbaum Shlita.
Rabbi wearing a badge not a police officer
By BRENDAN J. LYONS Senior Writer
Times Union - Monday, March 7, 2011
|Rabbi Bernard Freilich - Not a cop!|
|Bernard Freilich's Badge|
|Rabbi Bernard Freilich, Enabler to sex offenders|
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