“I haven’t seen this kind of intimidation in organized-crime cases or police corruption,” Hynes declared in an interview with the Daily News.
m among the predators did he send to prison? Far, far fewer than he should have across the first 19 of his more than 22 years in office.
As Hynes stunningly admitted to the Jewish Daily Forward, for almost two decades he was “completely unsuccessful” in prosecuting sex abuse by ultra-Orthodox Brooklynites, a group that was politically important to him and whose leaders discourage, as a matter of religion, involvement with civil authorities.
Hynes disputes that he was passive in the face of victimization — which is no more prevalent in this constituency than in any other — but the evidence is overwhelming that he took a destructively accommodating approach to sex crime prosecutions involving the ultra-Orthodox.
The 9-year-old’s father told The New York Times: “If they don’t want to prosecute, what are you going to do?”
In 2008, Hynes entered a plea bargain with Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, a teacher with a 30-year history of abuse complaints. Charged with two felony counts, he pleaded to a misdemeanor, over the objection of a victim’s father, and escaped jail time.
“I believe they were looking for angles out,” the father told the Jewish Week newspaper.
In 2009, Hynes launched a program called Voice of Justice that was billed as a “culturally sensitive” approach to community resistance to reporting child abuse.
A few months later, the Forward reported the organizing body of Modern Orthodox rabbis had affirmed that rabbinic courts should decide whether to bring sexual abuse allegations against Jews to law enforcement.