Brooklyn, NY - A juror who single-handedly caused a mistrial last week in a case involving a Hasidic defendant, has dropped a bombshell—-saying that anti-Semitism among jurors was openly discussed before the trial even began.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Reports that the defendant in trial was 29 year-old Alexander Rogalsky of Brooklyn, who faced the decade-old charge of sodomizing a 12 year-old boy.
When speaking about her fellow jury member’s behavior, the51 year-old woman said, “They were saying he was guilty before the trial even started. There was a lot of talk about the Jewish religion and one girl said it was a ‘Jewish trial’”.
Michael Farkas, a defense attorney who represented convicted counselor Nechemia Weberman, said the juror’s admission validates long-standing claims among defense attorneys that Hasidic defendants are inherently targeted for bias because of their distinct look and dress, said, “When an obviously Orthodox Jewish defendant goes on trial, (he’s) facing a subconscious prejudice.”
Rogalsky stood accused of sodomizing the boy after establishing a relationship with him when he worked as a counselor at a summer sleep-away camp in 2003.
The victim, now 22, testified against Rogalsy at trial, and prosecutors even presented an audio tape between the boy and Rogalsky in which Rogalsky did not deny the criminal act, but the lone juror was not convinced Rogalsky was guilty of a sex crime.
“It seemed something did happen between them,” the holdout said, “but there wasn’t enough evidence.”
A spokesman for DA Hynes’ office said the evidence was strong, and that the DA plans to re-try Rogalsky.
Hynes, who has been accused in the past of pandering to the Orthodox community by withholding the names of alleged Orthodox sex-offenders, established an independent system for prosecuting Hasidics accused of sex-crimes, which includes testimony at trial by an expert who explains to the jury that Hasidic victims of sex-crimes often shy away from coming forward due to pressure from within the community.
Such an expert testified in the Rogalsky case.
The lone holdout said she has attempted to contact Rogalsky’s defense team with the advice that Rogalsky “look less religious” for the next trial.