Monday, July 31, 2006

Ner Israel Has An Alleged Sexual Predator Working For Them - Rabbi Moshe Eiseman

Should We Be Calling For A Boycott of Ner Israel until they start dealing with both sexual predators and survivors appropriately?

Lo ta'amod al dam re'echa. We are forbidden to stand by and do nothing!

I wanted to make sure everyone is aware of what is being said on The Unorthodox Jew's blog regarding Rabbi Moshe Eiseman and Ner Israel. Rabbi Moshe Eiseman (alleged sexual predator) is related to Rabbi Eliezer Eisgrau's wife. It's also interesting to note that one of the Eisgrau survivors names Eiseman's cousin as one of their offenders.

Ner Israel of Baltimore has some very serious issues that they have been refusing to address for years. They seem to be more concerned with protecting thier image then protecting their students from sexual predators. THIS TRADITION NEEDS TO STOP TODAY!

It's time for Ner Israel to work with both JSAFE and The Awareness Center so that things WILL change. I've heard rumors that they are trying to use their old system to recreate an organization like the two mentioned above. I'll be honest, I don't trust them policing themselves. They have already showed us they can't. All one needs to do is look at their track record which can be seen below.

FYI: Here's some other Cases Connected to the Feinstein - Tendler - Weinberg Families, and or Ner Israel Yeshiva of Baltimore

  1. The Case of the Students of Ner Israel Yeshiva in the 1950's

  2. The Case of a List of Abuses at Ner Israel (Toronto, Canada) (1969)

  3. Case of Rabbi Ephraim Bryks

  4. Case of Rabbi Moshe Eiseman
  5. Case of Rabbi Eliezer Eisgrau

  6. Case of Rabbi Benyamin Fleischman

  7. Case of Rabbi Solomon Hafner

  8. Case of Rabbi Israel Kestenbaum

  9. Case of Rabbi Aron Boruch Tendler

  10. Case of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler

  11. Case of Rabbi Matis Weinberg

Sexually Aggressive Youth - Radio Talk Show

The Following comes from The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter

Sexually Aggressive Youth - Radio Talk Show

Robert Longo and David Prescott, authors of CURRENT PERSPECTIVES: Working with Sexually Aggressive Youth and Youth with Sexual Behavior Problems. Robert is the Clinical Director of Old Vineyard Residential Treatment Center. David is the Treatment Assessment Director of the Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center.

Click here for more information on Sexually Reactive Children and Juvenile Sex Offenders

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Dear Family - By Eliezer Eisgrau's Daughter

Principal of the Torah Institute of Baltimore
Dear Family,

You have all turned your backs and walked away from me. My father, my mother, and eleven siblings. All gone.

This reality is very sad. It is disturbing, and incomprehensible all at the same time.

What is the terrible crime I committed that warranted the loss of my entire family? What could cause parents to abandon a child? Siblings to abandon a sister? And a community to collectively turn its back in silence?

I committed a terrible crime. My unforgivable crime is that I spoke the truth about my childhood.

I could no longer keep secret the years of fear and pain. The molestation by my father, and the emotional abuse and neglect of both my parents...

I did try hard to keep it in the family as I had been taught to. I tried so hard to be the daughter you wanted me to be. To be "good" To let it go, and just forget, and somehow be OK... But I was in too much pain. I knew I couldn't continue without help.

I came to you first, remember? But you made it clear that you did not believe that I was really hurt. You made it clear that you would not, and could not, believe me that Tatty molested me nor could you support me. You denied that I had a reason to be in so much pain. I had to go elsewhere for help.

Going outside the family for help and support is a major sin. The louder you shouted that it just wasn't true, that Tatty could never do such a thing, that nothing really happened to me, the louder I had to shout to hear myself over the clamor of your thirteen desperate voices.

Oh, if only It were true, as you say, that a therapist somehow convinced me that the memories are true!!! I would sue the therapist and have my family back!

If only it were true, as you say, that the books I read on the subject of abuse are what put these horrible ideas into my head!! I would burn the books and have my family back!!

If only I were truly sick, or truly mental!! I would then pose no threat and I could have my family back!! Oh, if only I were truly evil and out to "get" my father! But I still love my father in spite of myself. I don't believe that my father is an evil monster. He has caused a lot of pain and refuses to take any responsibility for his actions. He is a human being who has done much good and also much bad. He has a serious problem and I wish he would get help.

Unfortunately It is true that I was sexually molested and abused in our family. If I am real than this did happen. I am a product of YOUR family. Thankfully, there were others who heard and I got the help I needed. I survived and I am doing well! To my siblings and my fathers supporters I say I am none of the things you accuse me of. I am just a women. I have my strengths and limitations just like you. I am a wife, a mother, a teacher, a friend, and neighbor just like you. I play with my children, hug them, kiss them and love them, just like you do. I laugh and cry and feel as deeply as you do. I have a life that is rich and joyful and completely separate from my past, as I hope that you do too. And I have many close friends who truly know and appreciate me for who I am...and know nothing of my past.

But there is no substitute for my family. I miss you. In spite of your denial of my experiences. In spite of your blame and accusations. In spite of you saying that your childhood was idyllic and wonderful...and therefore mine was too. I am truly happy for you that this was your experience and I can not take it away from you. I can only envy you. My childhood also had wonderful moments and happy memories, yet the good memories are overshadowed by pain, sadness, and fear. I wish there was a way you could accept our different experiences, and reconcile.

Perhaps there are those of you who would like to be in touch with me and believe that you can't because Rabbi Hopfer advised you to cut me out of the family. It would be going against "Daas Torah" to speak with me. I am so sorry for your pain. I am so sorry for us that you have chosen a rav who apparently believes that you have more to gain by breaking up our family than by encouraging its healing. Any thinking, intelligent person can see that Rabbi Hopfer's cruel advice, which hides behind the guise of "Daas Torah," sadly, has nothing to do with either.

Tatty, I miss you too.

You have hurt me terribly and I can't fully comprehend what you did to me. I understand why the people who have trusted you do not want to believe me. It is just too overwhelming. I also do not want to believe...I still want to believe that I am wrong. I still want to believe that I have a father who is safe. You loved me and hurt me. You gave me life, and you almost killed me. You will always be the only father I have. I will always need you.

Mommy, I think I do understand why you walked away... You made it clear from the time I was young that Tatty was much more important to you than I was. I believe that on some level you know that my memories of him are true. I believe that you needed him, and still need him more than you ever needed me. You have not been able to let yourself truly see me from the time I was very little. And that hurts. Because I needed you desperately. You are my mother and I needed your protection. I will always need you.

I am a women who was terribly abused as a child. I deal with this reality every day of my life. And because I did not keep the secret, I am now a women without parents or siblings.
With tears and always... hope for the future,

Eisgrau's Daughter.

Note: the president of the board of the Torah Institute is Hillel Tendler, brother of Mordecai Tendler and Aron Tendler.

Revoking a Rabbinic Ordination - By Rabbi Mark Dratch

Revoking Ordination

Can a rabbi’s semikhah (ordination) be revoked? Contemporary rabbinic ordination is known as “heter hora’ah” (license to adjudicate) by which they are empowered to decide matters of Jewish law.23 At times this authorization is limited either to specific areas of Jewish law24 or to limited periods of time.25 However, even if granted this license, an unqualified person is ipso facto not a rabbi, even if ordained.

Rambam rules,
One who is not fit to [serve as a] judge [either] because he does not know [the law] or because he is not [personally] suitable, who was [nevertheless] granted license [to adjudicate matters of Jewish law] by the exilarch or who was erroneously appointed by the Bet Din, his authorization is invalid until he [becomes] qualified, [similar to one] one who sanctifies a defective animal [as a sacrifice to be brought on] the altar, which does not become sanctified.26
Rabbi Yehudah Aszod, (Hungary, 1794-1866), author of Teshuvot Yehudah
Ya’aleh, instructed a disciple of his to revoke the ordination that the latter had granted
someone who violated the trust of the rabbinate and, furthermore, to publicize the fact
that he was doing so.27 The Code of Jewish Law goes a step further and records that a
scholar, who is rumored to be involved in heresy or immoral behavior, such that he
causes a desecration of God’s Name, is to be excommunicated.28 Such a person
certainly is no longer considered a rabbi.


Can a rabbi or teacher who has been removed from his position ever be reinstated? May one learn Torah from an individual who has engaged in illicit activities and has subsequently repented?29

At first glance, the answer of seems straight forward: “One is not permitted to learn from a rabbi who does not follow the good path, even if he is a great sage and the entire nation depends on his [teaching], until he returns to the good.”30 This allowance is based on the premise that once a person has been punished or has repented, his credibility is restored.31 At times, punishment alone is not sufficient; a person may have to prove that he has really turned over a new leaf. The Talmud elaborates upon the repentance required of those engaged in illicit activities that bring undeserved or illegal financial gain such as dice playing, usury, pigeon raising, and trading in the forbidden produce grown in the Sabbatical year. In each circumstance, the sinners must not only compensate any losses they may have caused others to suffer, but must conduct themselves in ways that are straight and honest and must bend over backwards to prove their integrity and transformation in those specific areas in which they sinned.32 Consider the case of a butcher who deceives his customers by selling non-kosher meat as kosher, “he who is suspected of passing non-kosher meat [as kosher] cannot be rehabilitated unless he leaves for a place where he is unknown and finds an opportunity of returning a lost article of considerable value, or of condemning as non-kosher meat of considerable value, belonging to himself.”33 Depending upon his misconduct, a “defrocked” rabbi may have to prove that he is no longer susceptible to the same illicit behavior. In some
abusive behaviors, the rate of recidivism is high and experts maintain that it may be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to refrain from repeating the offense. In such cases, reinstatement should never be an option.

However, with regard to reinstating a person to a rank of communal and religious leadership, Rambam notes a distinction between two different positions. It is from these rulings that we might extrapolate guiding principles for contemporary rabbis and teachers. Rambam writes:
A High Priest that sinned is lashed [in front of a court of] three like the rest of the people and then returns to his prominent [position]. But a Rosh Yeshiva (the Head of the Sanhedrin) that sinned is lashed and is not reinstated to his station. He is also not appointed as a regular member of the Sanhedrin because [of the principle that one always] increases sanctity and does not diminish it.34.
What is the difference between the offices of the High Priest and the Rosh Yeshiva such that one allows for a reinstatement and the other does not? The Jerusalem Talmud suggests that the High Priest would also not have been reinstated were it not for the uniqueness of the sanctity of a kohen: “‘Neither shall [a kohen] go out of the sanctuary nor profane the sanctuary of his God;] for the crown of the anointing oil of his God is upon him; I am the Lord’ (Lev. 21:12), just as I (God) [always retain] My sanctity, so Aaron (as well as every kohen) retains his sanctity.35 Thus, because the kohen is the exception, the rule is that once any leader betrays his office he can never be restored to it. His original status was a function of his initial election or appointment which was revoked and he no longer has any claim to it; the status of a kohen, whose sanctity is conferred by divine decree, can never be rescinded.36

Why was the Rosh Yeshiva not reappointed? There are many explanations: fear that a leader, once punished, may take advantage of his reappointment to exact revenge against those who convicted him or punished him;37 Jewish law does not sanction it, even if there is no fear of retribution;38 concern that the masses may continue to belittle or disparage the leader;39 the violation is public and constituted a hillul Hashem, such a person can no longer serve as a proper role model for the community.40

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Special National Beit Din To Address Sex Crimes?

I'm looking for someone to confirm the following:

There are rumors floating around that the Beit Din of America is forming an all new Beit Din to handle cases that involve sex crimes. I've also heard that Rabbi Shmuel Fuerst (rabbi of Agudath Israel of Illinois) is involved with this project.

My sources tell me that Fuerst appears to be one of the major rabbinic experts in Chicago on sexual abuse. Considering his history with these sorts of cases, do you think he's appropriate for the job?

Several months ago Fuerst wrote a letter in support of Rabbi Mordechai Tendler (see below). In his letter Rabbi Fuerst mentions that he "looked into the allegations" and found them to be false. I wonder what criteria he followed to come to this determination.

Jewish Whistleblower reports:
"Rabbi Shmuel Fuerst who put a man in cherem for taking those allegedly involved in sexully molesting his son to civil court (even though he had permission from another beis din to do so)."
Once again I have to ask, what education and training does Rabbi Fuerst have to be investigating sex crimes? I was hoping that Rabbi Fuerst would make his resume public. I think it's important for everyone to see exactly what specialized training he has.

While Fuerst was in rabbinic school did they teach him to collect forensic evidence or how to conduct a victim sensitive interview? If not, I believe WE ALL NEED TO DEMAND that we see where he received his training in how to collecting forensic evidence and also how to conduct a victim sensitive interview!

I personally believe that instead of creating a "special beit din" to investigate allegations of sex crimes, that the rabbis in Chicago and around the world NEED to be working with law enforcement. The creation of a "special beit din" will only be for show and will be used to smooth the way to continue doing what they have been doing for centuries.

Don't forget about the way that Rabbi Fuerst handled the case of the Kosher Butcher - Meyer Miller and the case of the Hillel Rabbi - Rabbi Tzvi Wainhaus.

Did you ever stop and wonder where these two gentlemen daven? What protocals have been established to keep children who go to their shuls safe? Perhaps Rabbi Fuerst would like to answer?

We also can't forget about Rabbi Morris I. Esformes who is also based in Chicago who is an alleged financial supporter of Mordecai Tendler.

According to Jewish Whistleblower Rabbi Morris I. Esformes has many unregistered sex-offenders and violations in his nursing homes.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

"How It's Been Done - Dealing with Rape Survivors


Rabbi Is Charged With Threatening a Witness in a Rape Case

New York Times
June 23, 1999

A prominent Hasidic rabbi in Brooklyn was indicted yesterday on felony charges that he made death threats against a woman scheduled to testify that her father had repeatedly raped her as a child, officials with the Kings County District Attorney's office said.

The rabbi, Bernard Freilich, 47, of Borough Park, was charged by a grand jury with witness tampering, witness intimidation and harassment, said Kevin Davitt, a spokesman for the District Attorney's office. If convicted of the most serious charges -- tampering with a witness and intimidation of a witness -- Rabbi Freilich could spend up to four years in prison, Mr. Davitt said.

Noting that Rabbi Freilich had previously pleaded innocent to misdemeanor charges of the same crimes, the rabbi's lawyer, George Meissner, said his client would also plead innocent to the felonies. He is to be arraigned in about two weeks.

''He's not guilty, absolutely not guilty,'' Mr. Meissner said, adding that the community supports his client. He said he did not know whether the father and daughter were members of the rabbi's congregation. Prosecutors said the rabbi and the father were close friends.

Mr. Meissner said that his client had repeatedly offered to take a polygraph test, if his accusers would do the same.

''Why these people picked on him, I have no idea,'' he said.

Mr. Davitt noted yesterday that the results of polygraph tests are not admissible in court. ''It would have no value to either party,'' he said.

According to prosecutors, on April 25, Mr. Freilich went to the home of the woman, whose name was not released, and warned her that she ''would end up in the cemetery'' if she testified against her father.

The father was charged on Feb. 28 with first-degree rape, incest, sexual abuse and harassment. Prosecutors said he repeatedly molested his daughter over several years. The father was arrested again in April and charged with witness tampering and criminal contempt. Despite a restraining order, prosecutors said, he pounded on his daughter's door, yelling that unless she took back the charges, it would be her last day on earth.

Prosecutors said Pinchas Shor, another prominent member of the Borough Park neighborhood, has also been charged with witness tampering in the case.

Asked why Rabbi Freilich was not originally charged with felony counts, Mr. Davitt said that police officials at the 66th Precinct station house in Borough Park had been insistent that the charges remain misdemeanors. Mr. Davitt declined to speculate on their motivation.

Before he was charged, Rabbi Freilich had been a special assistant and spiritual adviser to Superintendent James McMahon of the New York State Police. He has been suspended without pay, according to the state police and his lawyer.

What do you do when a sex offender moves into your community?

I think it's time for us all to discuss the following issues:

questions1) What do you do when you arrive at a friends home for shabbos and another guest is also there who is known (or suspected) to have molested children in the past?
  • Do you say anything to your host or other guests?
  • Should you stay or leave?

2) What do you do when you know there's a sex offender in your community and your rabbi is covering for them?

3) What do you do if you are in a public place, children are present and a suspected child molester is also present?

4) What do you do when a friends child is suspected of molesting children or sexually assaulting another?

Thread #11 - Shmuel Juravel's Court Date Coming Up Soon

Shmuel Juravel

A jury trial will continue on August 15, 2006 on the case of Samuel Juravel. Shmuel Juravel has been held in custody since being arrested back on Feb 21, 2006.

Jury Trial Continued
August 14 at 9:00 am.

Judge Coogler
United States Circuit Court - Alabama Northern District
Hugo L. Black U. S. Courthouse
Birmingham, AL

Shmuel faces 70 years in Federal prison without parole plus a $750,000.00 fine.

Agents from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI arrested Shmuel Juravel (Feb. 21, 2005) at a Birmingham hotel after he arranged to have sex with a minor.

Juravel grew up in Baltimore, MD. Around fifteen years ago the first allegations were made against Shmuel of child sexual molestation. According to statements made on the various threads, survivors and their parents sought help from Rabbi Moshe Heinemann who said he would take care of things. Needless to say, nothing happened.

Shmuel is the son of Rabbi Moshe and Shulamis Juravel of Baltimore, MD. Rabbi Juravel is employeed as a teacher at the Torah Institute of Baltimore. Shmuel Juravel is also the nephew of Rabbi Dovid Juravel and Rebbitzen Chana Juravel.

Samuel Juravel has 3 attorneys, 2 from the Law firm of Sirote and Permutt.
L. Robert Isaacson - is the third attorney has a private practice (Walter's Law Office) in Savannah, GA.

The prosecuting attorneys are:
  • John H England, III - Assistant US Attorney, Northern District of. Alabama, Southern Division
  • Alice H Martin - Assistant US Attorney, Northern District of. Alabama, Southern Division

Due to the number of postings onThread #10, the discussion of Shmuel Juravel will continue here on Thread #11.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Let's Make A Deal - Mordechai Gafni for Avrohom Mondrowitz

Rabbi Marc Gafni is hiding out in the US instead of facing the assault charges in Israel.

Rabbi Avrohom Modrowitz is hiding out in Israel instead of facing charges in New York.

Don't you think we should swap one for the other?

Does anyone know where in Gafni is? The last I heard he was hiding out in either Boulder, CO or some where in Idaho.

Here's links to the newest articles on Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz, PhD.

CALL FOR ARTICLES - Healing from Sexual Violence and the High Holidays

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With the High Holidays approaching, The Awareness Center, Inc. has a call for articles on topics relating to healing from sexual violence.

Approved articles will be sent out to their mailing lists and also possible inclusion on their web page. Please submit your articles ASAP.

Send your articles to

Below is a sample article that's on The Awareness Center's web page

Monday, July 24, 2006

Police Looking for More Victims of Stanley Virgil Ashman, who taught at the Park School from 1972 to 1997

Baltimore County police Monday asked anyone with information to call the department's Family Crimes Unit at 410-853-3650.

Stanley Virgil Ashman

<>Ex-Park teacher accused in abuse
Man, 60, is arrested years after girl said incidents happened
Baltimore Sun
July 24, 2006

A former teacher at an elite Baltimore County private school has been accused of sexual abuse by a student who came forward three decades after the alleged incidents because she learned that he had returned to teaching in another state.

Stanley Virgil Ashman, who taught at the Park School from 1972 to 1997 and, more recently at another school in Michigan, is accused of having sex with a then-14-year-old girl at his Baltimore home and at the Park School.

The headmaster from the school issued a statement Monday saying that officials became aware of the allegation in 1997 and reported it to state social services officials.

The state keeps a database of child abusers that is shared with educators and others conducting background checks, a spokeswoman said Monday. It was unclear Monday whether police investigated the allegations against Ashman nine years ago.

Officials at the Roeper School, which educates gifted students in suburban Detroit, said their background checks on the teacher, including the most recent one in April, had come up clean.

Randall Dunn, the head of the Michigan school, issued a statement saying there had been no complaints about Ashman. He said Ashman, a social studies teacher, taught at the school for six years.

Cathy Wilmer, a math and English teacher at the school and mother of two boys who were taught by Ashman there, said she was shocked to hear of the allegations.

"He took great care with everything he did with the kids," she said. "We really have nothing but high regards for the man."

A woman who had been a student of Ashman's in the 1970s at the Park School contacted police in May to say she had been sexually abused, according to court records. The woman told police that as a youngster she sometimes watched Ashman's children while he graded papers at his home in the Pimlico area of Baltimore.

She said they had sex several times a week through her ninth-, tenth- and eleventh-grade years, usually at the teacher's house. She also said they had sex in a wooded area at the school and in a closet, the court records show.

In May, police overheard a telephone conversation between the woman and Ashman in which the former teacher admitted to having sex with her when she was 14, and repeatedly apologized, according to court records.

Ashman, 60, was charged in a warrant with child abuse, police said. He was arrested June 9 in Michigan and was extradited to Baltimore County on June 20.

He was released on $25,000 bond, and is staying with friends in the area, police said.

Ashman, who is known as "Butch," is a former Marine and Vietnam veteran.

At Park, Ashman, along with a Vietnam war protester, taught a history course on the ethics of violence and nonviolence, along with a Vietnam war protester. He was also selected to work on a summer research project for the school on how best to teach history, according to news accounts.

In Michigan, members of the Wilmer family said Ashman imparted his experiences while teaching a military history class at the Roeper School.

"He was the best teacher I ever had," said 17-year-old Nathan Wilmers, who will be a freshman at the University of Chicago. "I've always know him to be somebody of great integrity."

Laura Panek, a biology teacher who said Ashman served as a mentor for her, said, "I've trusted him completely with very personal things and he's never been anything but supportive."

The Park School is a coeducational, prekindergarten-to-grade-12 school of nearly 900 students in Brooklandville. The school emphasizes debate and individual thought and expression, according to its Web site.

In a statement released Monday, David Jackson, head of the Park School, said he met with Ashman in 1997 after learning of the allegations against him, and the teacher then resigned. He told Ashman that the school would not be a reference for any future employment, and there has been no communication between the teacher and the school since, according to the statement.

Russell P. Butler, executive director of Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center says children can be protected by something as simple as a call to check a reference, but it is harder to track down information about potential hires, especially across state lines, when an allegation hasn't resulted in a conviction.

The state of Maryland keeps a database of child abusers that can be used by educators, law enforcement officials and others conducting background checks nationally, said Elyn Jones, a spokeswoman for the state's Department of Human Resources.

The state places a person on the registry when an investigation finds evidence that they've abused a child. The finding would mean that there was evidence to warrant criminal charges against that person, Jones said.

The person's name would remain on the registry even if charges were dropped or a person was found not guilty. A name can be removed from the registry by administrative appeal, Jones said. The state does not keep records when a claim of abuse is found to be unsubstantiated, she said.

In a case such as Ashman's, social services agencies at the county or state level would not investigate because the victim was already an adult when the allegation is said to have been made, Jones said. Instead, Jones said, the information would be forwarded to police.

Baltimore County and City police were not able to say Monday whether they had investigated the matter nine years ago.

Baltimore County police Monday asked anyone with information to call the department's Family Crimes Unit at 410-853-3650.

Sun reporters Nicole Fuller and Liz F. Kay contributed to this article.

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Vicki Polin Speaks at the 2006 SNAP Conference

From: Vicki Polin at The Awareness Center

I spoke at the
SNAP conference yesterday (Sunday, July 23, 2006) that was held in Jersey City, NJ. There were around 200 people present.

I basically spoke about the fact that sexual abuse has absolutely nothing to do with religion and that it's all about power and control. I let them know about some unscientific statistics compiled by one of The Awareness Center's volunteers, who compared the number of Catholics in the US to the number of cases of clergy abuse in Catholic community, to the number of Jews in the US to the number of cases of clergy abuse we have. The statistics came out almost exactly the same.

During my presentation I kept repeating the phrase that "pedophillia has NO religion," and that it "takes a village to raise a sex offender." Another words we are all responsible for their actions and that we all NEED to be mandated to report when we SUSPECT a child is being abused and or neglected.

I was totally shocked when my presentation was over. Just about everyone in the room stood up and applaud.

Can you imagine if I gave that same presentation at a yeshiva or in any Torah observant community? How many conference participants would have stayed in the workshop, let alone clap?

Friday, July 21, 2006

Dr. Roger Mason Levin - An Old Case That Should NOT Be Forgotten

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Doctor Abuse Case Continues to Grow Cops Says 20 More Cite Sex Misconduct

By Edwin Garcia
San Jose Mercury News
October 8, 1996

(NAME REMOVED), 17, hastily put on her clothes and darted from the doctor's office, tears streaming down her blue eyes.

She had wanted Dr. Roger Mason Levin to treat her chronic abdominal cramps. Instead, she said, the Palo Alto internist gave her a lengthy rectal exam, insisted on a pelvic exam, then touched her breasts and squeezed her nipples while "telling me how pretty my eyes were."

(NAME REMOVED)'s mother shouted "Oh my God!" upon hearing her daughter's ordeal in October 1993; she suddenly recalled her own, similar appointment 14 years earlier. With the same doctor.

Their complaints, along with others in police reports and court documents, led to the loss of Levin's medical license and the criminal in vestigation that resulted in his Sept. 6 arrest.

Since then, according to police, at least 20 alleged victims have come forward with stories of sexual abuse by Levin that go back more than 20 years. Still, the case against Levin continues to grow, with possibly hundreds of victims, said Palo Alto police Detective Michael Yore.

Levin, 51, of Menlo Park, is free on bail, waiting to enter a plea Friday on eight felony and misdemeanor counts, including charges that he prescribed narcotics when there was no medical need. Through his attorneys, he declined requests for interviews. Levin's attorneys have told police that drugs were stolen from his client's office, Yore said. The attorneys also said, in an interview shortly after Levin's arrest, that Levin merely was accused of possessing child pornography, a felony, not distributing it.

In interviews with the Mercury News and in court statements, a handful of his alleged victims said they kept silent when they should have complained about Levin. Some of these witnesses said they feared no one would believe them; they were frightened that Levin would blackmail them with photographs he secretly took of them naked. Some feared his attorneys and, according to court documents, at least one woman reportedly filed a report around 1975, but Palo Alto police
discouraged her from pursuing the complaint "because Levin was a respected physician."

Faced at least 3 lawsuits

Court records show Levin has faced at least three lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct against women and children since the 1980s, including a former assistant in his Cowper Street office. Other alleged victims told investigators years after being abused that Levin settled their claims before lawsuits were filed.

"His medical license has given him access to people's bodies, their private lives, all of which he penetrates and violates," one victim told the Mercury News. "The license has not only enabled him, but protected him."

Some, like (NAME REMOVED), are eager to testify against Levin, in part because of the outcome of a previous investigation that some say failed to punish him. In 1987, Levin was arrested on suspicion of felony child molestation, including charges that he inserted his finger in boys' rectums. His attorneys negotiated a plea bargain that reduced the charges to a single misdemeanor. He served a work-furlough sentence, and the medical board took no action.

"I just want to make sure this time he lands his butt in jail for the rest of his life," said (Name Removed), 20, who is now married.

Another is a 21-year-old woman who is suing Levin and asking for the doctor to pay for long-term therapy. (NAME REMOVED) is not related to the doctor, but in his quest to manipulation, she said, he urged her to legally change her name.

(NAME REMOVED) met Dr. Levin when she was 19 and he was 49. She claimed the doctor invited her to live with him immediately after her release from a psychiatric hospital. Her suit, scheduled for trial next month, claims Levin got her hooked on drugs and forced her to abort two pregnancies.

After one abortion, according to an investigator's report, Levin had her handle the dismembered body of the fetus.

Her attorney, John Winer of San Francisco, said (NAME REMOVED) was perfect prey for the doctor - attractive, young, fragile, from a broken home and with low self-esteem. She was needy.

(NAME REMOVED) is one of few people who claimed to have seen a private room in his house. The room was "knee deep" with everything from pictures of autopsies to obscene videotapes of children. Yore said police seized computers containing child pornography from the same room. She left him after an emotional breakdown.

One former patient came forward to Palo Alto police to say that she'd been fondled by Levin during an exam 23 years earlier, when the doctor was in a medical practice on Welch Road.

"He was a nice guy," said the woman, who asked that she not be identified. "He paid attention to me; he was very charming, and I was a very lonely 16-year-old girl." Levin would take her to lunch, and even drive her home after appointments.

But then it happened: Levin ordered his nurse to take a lunch break, then he
allegedly fondled the girl's breasts.

The girl told her mother about "strange things going on at the doctor's office," but she wasn't specific. And she didn't tell authorities until she heard of Levin's arrest last month.

"It blew my mind. I thought I was the only one," she said. Her case may or may not hold up in criminal court, depending on how many other victims police find within the three-year statute of limitations.

Police claim pattern
Still, police and prosecutors could use her allegations and those of other victims who have yet to come forward in an attempt to show a pattern they contend Levin established.

Levin's sexual misconduct started well before his medical career, according to court documents.

As a youngster, he placed obscene phone calls, according to a statement filed by his ex-wife in court documents. After graduating from medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, he enrolled in a dermatology residency at Stanford University. But he was thrown out before its completion for taking "inappropriate pictures," according to court documents.

Another former patient, a local health-field professional who requested anonymity, said she wondered about Levin's motivations when she saw him for a physical checkup and he commented on her perfume.

Indeed, court records allege that Levin wrote information about patients' perfume in their medical records.

The former patient's husband, and her father-in-law, told of unusual anecdotes when treated by the same doctor. On separate occasions, after examining them, Levin allegedly said to each: "The good news is, you don't havesyphilis or gonorrhea."

Levin became the subject of a police investigation in February after he reported a robber bolted into his office and held him at gunpoint. Nobody was injured and only petty cash was taken. But during the investigation, police bumped into a medical board investigator looking into sex and drug allegations,
Yore said.

The formal accusation that suspended Levin's license, culminating a two-year
investigation, was filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court on July 31.

The reported robbery remains unsolved.

Earlier this year, with investigators closing in, Levin hired a psychiatrist, Dr. Mark Levy, to perform an evaluation.

Levy concluded Levin suffered from depression and had become incompetent to practice medicine, according to a summary of Levy's report filed in court. The summary did not specify which, if either of the two traumatic events, were affecting Levin the most: the robbery or the investigation.

Levin offered to surrender the license. The medical board moved to suspend it.

Levin's license will be invalid until he requests a hearing, Deputy Attorney General Ronald Thunen Jr. said. The board could then move to have Levin's license revoked, or Levin could request it be reissued.

Levin likely will await the outcome of his criminal case before deciding whether to request the hearing.

In a June 23 letter he sent to patients, Levin said: "I regret to inform you that I will be discontinuing the practice of internal medicine for the foreseeable future, although I eventually hope to return."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A Friend Sent Me This

Politics is supposed to be
the second oldest profession.

I have come to realize
that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.

Case of Cantor Philip Friedman of Albany, NY

Albany temple fires cantor
Letter cites episode of "inappropriate behavior" as prosecutor takes look
By MARC PARRY, Staff writer
Times Union
July 19, 2006

ALBANY -- Temple Israel fired its longtime cantor for "inappropriate behavior" toward a member of the congregation, and the Albany County district attorney's office confirmed Tuesday that it is investigating the matter.

The Albany temple's board of trustees voted unanimously to terminate Cantor Philip Friedman on May 31, Temple Israel President Gavin Setzen said in a prepared statement responding to questions from the Times Union. Synagogue trustees reported the episode to law enforcement officials on the advice of counsel, he said.

Setzen declined to provide details about Friedman's inappropriate behavior, citing an ongoing investigation by the district attorney's office.

Friedman, 65, became cantor of Temple Israel in 1992. The 57-year-old temple on New Scotland Avenue is Albany's largest Conservative synagogue. Friedman served congregations in Queens and Long Island before he moved to Albany.

A cantor chants the liturgy of a service. Friedman also worked with students at the temple.

"Relieving Cantor Friedman was a wrenching, painful decision," said a June 6 letter to Temple Israel congregants co-signed by Setzen. "The board, however, had no alternative, given Cantor Friedman's conduct."

Mark Harris, bureau chief of the district attorney's homicide and special victims unit, said information "was provided to the district attorney's office, and there is an ongoing investigation of that matter."

Harris said he is handling the probe but declined to give any details.

Special victims unit cases range from domestic violence to child abuse to failing to register as a sex offender, Harris said.

Friedman, reached at home, had no comment.

The letter to congregants announcing Friedman's departure said temple leaders would not give more details about the incident at this time "out of respect for the privacy and confidentiality of the family involved."

"Should anyone have had any concerns about Cantor Friedman's conduct, please advise us as soon as possible," the letter said.

The synagogue's Web site now lists Rogerio Marx as cantor.

Marc Parry can be reached at 454-5057 or by e-mail at

More on Brandon J. Fritz - Lakewood Rapist


Man charged in Lakewood case after arrest in 2nd attack
$1 million bail set for suspect
Asbury Press
July 20, 2006


The link practically drew itself for Detective Sgt. Steve Daroci.

The Old Bridge policeman had seen the sketch around the office for months, a drawing of a stern-faced man police say kidnapped and then sexually assaulted a woman in Lakewood almost three months ago.

Daroci looked at the drawing again Tuesday afternoon.

Then he looked at Brandon J. Fritz, a 21-year-old sprinkler installer from Lakewood being questioned by Old Bridge police about an attempted sexual assault in their town.

"The similarities were very, very good," Daroci said. "Too good."

So good, in fact, that Fritz has been charged with the abduction and assault of the 20-year-old Lakewood woman from outside her Route 9 workout center on May 7.

In Old Bridge, he is charged with burglary, robbery, theft and attempted aggravated sexual assault, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office. He remained held in Middlesex County Jail on Wednesday night on $1,000,000 bail.

Fritz's arrest brings to a close a 2 1/2-month investigation that had stymied law enforcement, left some residents questioning the efficacy of the Lakewood Police Department and spurred the creation of a neighborhood watch program.

"Many of our citizens were fearful even in their own neighborhood," Lakewood Mayor Meir Lichtenstein said Wednesday at a news conference at which investigators announced Fritz's arrest. "This crime had a very large impact."

Investigators from Lakewood, the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, the State Police and even the FBI's Red Bank office had worked the case, following up on hundreds of leads with no luck.

Break-in alleged

The break in the much-publicized case came Tuesday, when police say Fritz, a single man who lives on Delaware Trail near Lakewood's western boundary with Jackson, broke into an Old Bridge home.
Ocean County Prosecutor Thomas F. Kelaher said he believed Fritz was there to steal a television, but Old Bridge Detective Scott Crocco said, "I don't believe the motive was burglary."

Fritz had seen the home on Monday, Kelaher said, while working there as a sprinkler installer for Environmental Designers Irrigation Inc., a Howell company.

On Tuesday morning, Fritz returned uninvited to the two-story home, police said.

The homeowner wasn't there at the time, but the 48-year-old woman came home shortly after, Crocco said. She noticed signs someone was either in the house or had just left.

She called her son, Crocco said, to see if he had been there. He wasn't.

When she hung up the phone, she saw Fritz, Crocco said.

The Old Bridge woman said in an interview the man was wearing her pajamas with her underwear over his head.

Fritz attacked her, causing minor injuries, but she fended him off, police said.

"She fought pretty good," Crocco said.

Fritz ran out of the home and fled in a pickup truck, Kelaher said. The woman called Old Bridge police, who learned through their interviews with her that she recognized Fritz from work he had done at the house the day before.

Old Bridge officers then went to the irrigation company office to talk to Fritz, Crocco said.
"He denied any involvement and cooperated," Crocco said, adding that company officials also worked with investigators.

A woman who answered the phone at the firm's office on Church Road on Wednesday would not comment when asked about Fritz.

Once he was located and questioned at his job, Fritz was taken without incident to Old Bridge police headquarters.

There, the resemblance between him and the composite sketch Ocean County officials had commissioned in the days after the attack made everyone's job that much easier.

"The composite was really that good," said Daroci, the Old Bridge detective.

Dover Township Patrolman Christopher McDowell, who crafted the sketch out of the victim's memory and his pencil, said he was pleased his work helped solve a major case.

"If my hands fell off tomorrow, it was all worth it," McDowell said.

Kelaher would not say if Fritz later confessed, but the connections between the Old Bridge and Lakewood incidents continued.

Fritz had duct tape on him when Old Bridge authorities picked him up. In the Lakewood case, the young woman was found with duct tape wrapped around her head and her wrists were bound, Kelaher said.

The commonalities between the cases led Old Bridge to call Lakewood. From there, charges were quickly filed against Fritz in both cases. In Lakewood, the official charges are aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and kidnapping.

"It was just good police work," said Al Peters, Lakewood public safety director. "They put two and two together, called us and we were able to go up there and actually nail everything down."

Kelaher said Wednesday that investigators now want to publicize Fritz's photograph because they believe he may be involved in other similar assaults.

Kelaher said he had no proof of that, just "a sixth sense."

Police under pressure

Fritz's arrest, announced at a news conference that drew several Lakewood residents, concludes an investigation that had some questioning the Lakewood Police Department's handling of the case.

Internet blogs and community rumblings wondered how the woman — abducted after a workout session at TrimGym Fitness Center — could be returned to the same shopping center several hours later without police on the scene knowing.

Residents questioned why the FBI wasn't called in sooner and the Lakewood Vaad, a council of Orthodox Jewish leaders, offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Vaad members declined comment Wednesday, but one member, Rabbi Moshe Zev Weisberg, said last month that confidence in the Police Department's community policing was "at an all-time low."
The Jewish community got involved in the case because the Lakewood victim was Orthodox.
When no arrests in the case were announced quickly, some residents grew skeptical. A new neighborhood watch program called Shomrim — a Hebrew word that roughly translates to "watchers" — started soon after the attack.

Police say they do not believe the victim's religion played a role in the crime, even though the case was originally thought to be related to a string of attacks against Orthodox women in Brooklyn. Investigators affirmed Wednesday they now see no connection.

"People were under the expectation that we were going to be able to crack the case overnight," Peters said. "Unfortunately, cases don't happen that way."

Still, Mayor Lichtenstein said law enforcement continued to work the case, pursuing hundreds of phone calls, tips and leads.

"Our citizens are grateful to you," Lichtenstein told the detectives gathered at the news conference. "Thank you very much for your work."

Staff writer Matt Porio, Gannett New Jersey and the Associated Press contributed to this report. Richard Quinn: (732) 557-5739 or

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Lakewood Rapist Caught?

Lakewood man being held in sex assault of woman
Asbury Park Press
July 19, 2006

TOMS RIVER — Ocean County authorities today announced the arrest of a Lakewood man in connection with the May 7 abduction and sexual assault of a woman in Lakewood.

Brandon J. Fritz, 21, of Lakewood, is charged with aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and kidnapping. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail, authorities said.

The victim is a member of the Orthodox Jewish community.

Authorities said Fritz was arrested yesterday in Old Bridge in a separate case in which he is charged with burglary, robbery and attempted sexual assault. Authorities said some similarities between that case and the Lakewood case led them to make the arrest. They did not immediately provide further details.

Authorities said Fritz worked in landscaping and sprinkler installation for a company that may be based in Howell.

More on Mordecai Tendler and The Bloggers

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Defrocked Rabbi - Mordecai Tendler

Rabbi Drops Bid To Out Bloggers
Free speech appears to be on side of anonymous Web sites.
Jennifer Friedlin
Jewish Week
July 19, 2006

A group of anonymous bloggers that had published information on their Web sites about a disgraced Rockland County rabbi’s alleged sexual misconduct won a victory when the rabbi withdrew one of two petitions to subpoena their identities.

Rabbi Mordecai Tendler, the former leader of Kehillat New Hempstead in New Hempstead, N.Y., who has been accused of sexual harassment by former congregants, filed petitions both in Ohio and California district courts in an effort to force Google, the Internet giant that hosts the bloggers’ websites, to disclose their identities.

It was not immediately clear why Rabbi Tendler decided to withdraw the petition in Ohio and whether he would do the same in California. Neither he nor his lawyer returned calls seeking comment.

Rabbi Tendler was expelled last year for inappropriate conduct from membership in the Rabbinical Council of America, the largest Orthodox rabbinic association.

The bloggers’ attorney, Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen, a Washington-based public interest organization, said Rabbi Tendler’s decision to withdraw the petition represented a victory for the First Amendment right to free speech. He also said that the decision reflected Rabbi Tendler’s inability to prove that the bloggers had defamed him.

“If he had had evidence of falsity and malice he could have gone forward against these folks,” said Levy, noting that as soon as the bloggers filed their motion claiming that Rabbi Tendler’s petition would violate their right to free speech, he withdrew his demand. Levy said the bloggers were moving ahead with a motion under California law that protects against so-called strategic lawsuits against public participation and would seek to have Rabbi Tendler required to cover the bloggers’ legal fees.

Although the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to set a federal standard regarding what a defamation plaintiff would have to show before an anonymous blogger could be unmasked, lower court decisions have so far set a high bar, demanding that plaintiffs clearly establish that the claims made against them are false before the online accuser can be outed.

“It’s a pretty high standard,” said David Hudson, research attorney for the First Amendment Center, an educational organization based in Nashville, Tenn., and Arlington, Va.

Within the Jewish world, anonymous blogs have become a touchstone for debate. Those in favor of anonymous blogging say they give people fighting for victims’ rights an advantage, particularly in the Orthodox community, much of which has proven unwilling to openly discuss and deal with issues of sexual abuse.

“The greatest ‘crime’ today in the Jewish world is not the number of agunot, it is not the sexual predators that have been allowed to prey on the vulnerable of our community,” wrote Jewish Whistleblower, one of the anonymous bloggers named in Rabbi Tendler’s petition, in an e-mail. “No, it is the crime of speaking out publicly against the corrupt leadership of our community and those that prey sexually on the vulnerable in our community.

“The Jewish community needs us bloggers simply because our leadership refuses to address these problems.”

In addition to Jewish Whistleblower, the other blogs Rabbi Tendler sought to expose through his petition are rabbinic integrity, jewish survivors and new hempstead news.

But critics of anonymous blogs said that they are unethical and do little to advance their own causes.

“It’s immoral to use a disguise to put the heat on other people,” said Steven I. Weiss, a blogger whose reporting on sexual abuse in the Orthodox world and other issues can be found at The Canonist.

Weiss noted that several Orthodox leaders, like Rabbi Yosef Blau, spiritual adviser at Yeshiva University, have been highly criticized for speaking out against abuse within the community and that by doing so they ultimately increased the credibility of their claims.

“That’s part of what credibility is: knowing the consequences for what you are saying and doing it anyway. Anonymous bloggers aren’t willing to live with the consequences,” Weiss said.

While undermining their own credibility, anonymous bloggers may in fact be protecting themselves legally. Robert Cox, president of the Media Bloggers Association, an organization of bloggers, said that one of the standards used in defamation cases is whether a reasonable person would believe a particular statement was true. However, given that blogs are held in lower esteem than many newspapers and magazines, such a standard may not be met in a defamation case against a blogger, particularly an anonymous one.

Cox said that although this issue has yet to be settled in court, bloggers might prove immune to claims of defamation “because nobody believes us.”

Widely believed or not, some anonymous bloggers say they are in fact having a great deal of impact and that they plan to continue blogging anonymously.

Earlier this year, Unorthodox Jew, one of the most controversial bloggers in the Orthodox community, located several alleged victims of Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, a teacher at Yeshiva and Mesivta Torah Temimah in Flatbush, Brooklyn, after he posted allegations against the rabbi and the head of the school. The anonymous postings eventually led to a lawsuit against the rabbi, the school and a summer camp.

UOJ says that before he posts any claims against anyone he conducts his own investigation, verifying the allegations with five sources. Once he’s satisfied that he has met his own standard, he posts the claims.

“’Free speech’ permits me to say ‘anything’ I feel is accurate,” UOJ wrote in an e-mail.

For now, no one is challenging him.

Thoughts For Today

  1. Appearances can be deceiving
  2. Question Authority
  3. Small steps are better than no steps.
  4. Your attitude is the first thing people notice about you
  5. In the face of adversity, do not lose your sense of humor.
  6. If you think too long, you may miss an opportunity.
  7. Gain back your confidence.
  8. A kite rises against the wind.
  9. Education offers freedom
  10. Get rid of everything that isn't good for you.
  11. Ignorance is the enemy of art.
  12. Don't deceive yourself.
  13. Make up your own instructions for life.
  14. Don't achieve success at the cost of your soul.
  15. Once in a while go someplace you've never been before.
  16. Set your own pace.
  17. Find your life's work.
  18. Things can always be worse.

Creating Sanctuary: Treating Trauma in Children, Adults, Organizations and Society

From The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter:
The speakers in this program are excellent. If you live in or around New York City it would be worth while to go to this event.

Andrus Children's Center

Creating Sanctuary: Treating Trauma in Children, Adults, Organizations and Society

When: Thursday, October 5, 2006, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Where: Andrus Children's Center
1156 North Broadway
Yonkers, NY

Featuring: Dr. Bessel van der Kolk and Dr. Sandra Bloom

Creating a trauma-sensitive culture means achieving a shared understanding of the effects of trauma on ourselves, the way we run our agencies and our larger community. The Andrus Center for Learning and Innovation will host a full day symposium dedicated to illuminating our understanding of how the recovery process begins for children, adults, organizations and society.

For more information go to the conference web site:

Monday, July 17, 2006

Dutch Court OKs 'Pedophile' Political Party

Associated Press
July 17, 2006

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) -- A Dutch court refused Monday to ban a political party whose main goal is to lower

"These freedoms give citizens the opportunity to, for example, use a political party to appeal for change to the constitution, law, or policy."

He noted that the PNVD party, the Dutch abbreviation of Brotherly Love, Freedom and Diversity, had not committed a crime, but was calling for a change in the law.

"It is the right of the voter to judge the appeal of political parties," he said.

The party sparked outrage when it proclaimed its existence in late May, but prosecutors declined to prosecute its members as a threat to public order. Latest News

"We expected this result," said party treasurer Ad van den Berg, 62. "We are not doing anything illegal so there is no reason to ban us."

Van den Berg was fined and given a suspended prison sentence for molesting an 11-year-old boy in 1987. After his background became known last month, he was chased from the trailer park where he lived in the city of Oostvoorne.

Anke de Wijn, an attorney representing the party's opponents, said the group was abusing Dutch tolerance.

"Victims feel hurt by the wish of pedophiles to make their desires known in public," De Wijn said.

"There are few limitations on free speech, and that's good, but this group is making misuse of the privilege, to provoke."

The PNVD's known members were a president, a secretary and a treasurer, as required under Dutch law. In order to stand in elections scheduled for Nov. 22, it will have to submit a list of candidates and the signatures of at least 30 supporters to get on the ballot in any one of the country's 19 voting districts.

Ireen van Engelen of the Solace Foundation, which researches pedophilia, said the party likely would fail to register for the elections because pedophiles seek anonymity.

"They will never want to connect their name to the party and without the signatures they can't go in the elections," she said.

Public Access Cable Show Identifies Local Sex Offenders

Sunday, July 16, 2006

BINGHAMTON, New York — Welcome to Sex Offender TV.

A new show on public-access cable television features resident sex offenders with their photo, name and address and the ages and genders of their victims. "Sex Offender Community Update" debuts Monday.

Officials behind the idea say they do not know of other U.S. cities or stations that have taken this approach.

"The main purpose of this television program is to make the information more easily available and accessible, not to warn about a specific individual," a disclaimer says at the start of the 30-minute show.

"The sex offenders are going to have more notoriety because of it," City Councilman Chris Papastrat said. But he added the program, which will be broadcast regularly to 72,000 households, is not meant to ruin anyone's life.

But Robin McGinnis says it could. The president of the national Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers says the broadcast will only cause more anxiety for offenders and others.

"I think it's just panicking the community even more," McGinnis said by phone Sunday. "Sex offenders have become the lepers of the community. I don't see how we expect sex offenders to rehab if we continue to push and push them."

The vast majority of sex offenders molest their own children and are not hanging out in parks and attacking people, she said. "Yes, they should be held accountable, but such a small number are truly dangerous in the community."

Monday's show features only Level 3 offenders, which the state classifies as having the highest risk of offending again. Papastrat says the city has about 50 such offenders.

The show's information also can be found on the Internet, by phone or from school officials. Papastrat said officials were looking for an inexpensive way to reach the most people, since school officials said mailing fliers regularly to residents had become expensive.

Survivors of Dr. William Ayres - Child Psychiatrist Looking for Other Survivors

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
The following note was posted to The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter

Dr.William Ayres, a child psychiatrist in San Mateo, California is currently the subject of a criminal investigation because of allegations the he molested his young male patients.

A group of Ayres' survivors in California would like to hear from and connect with others who had similar experiences. We are particularly interested in anyone who was a patient from 1988 to 2005, which is within statute for a criminal prosecution. We do want to hear from any victim from any time period. We know of at least two survivors who are Jewish.

Dr. Ayres practiced in San Mateo from 1963 to December 2005.
He also treated children in Boston at the Judge Baker Guidance Center from 1959-63.

Stories on Ayres have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News and the San Mateo County Times. Here is a story that appeared on the front page of the San Mateo County Times on April 26, 2005 (see below)

We need other survivors to come forward.
Anyone with information please E-mail :

Police probe child doctor
By Amy Yarbrough
Oakland Tribune - April 26, 2005

SAN MATEO -- A lauded child psychiatrist, who settled a lawsuit last summer with a former patient claiming he was molested by the doctor as a teen, is currently the subject of a criminal investigation, San Mateo police confirmed.

A search warrant was served on the home and office of Dr. William Ayres on March 10, according to Capt. Mike Callagy. He declined to comment on the nature of the investigation, and said the affidavit in the case has been sealed.

While police would not discuss the circumstances of the case, four people say they were interviewed for the investigation last fall after coming forward with their own molestation allegations. None of those incidents can be criminally prosecuted because the statute of limitations in each has expired.

A former president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Ayres, 74, for decades had patients referred to him through local school districts and the county's juvenile court system. He also maintained a private practice.

This summer, Ayres settled a lawsuit with a man who claimed the psychiatrist molested him in 1977 when the man was 13. Attorneys on both sides have declined to release the details of the agreement, which does not admit guilt on Ayres' part.

(Name Removed), 36, an accuser who was not a party in last summer's suit, said his school district sent him to Ayres in 1985 when he was 15 after writing a note to a classmate that was misinterpreted as a suicide threat. (Name Removed) recounted the details of his visits with Ayres in a report taken by San Mateo police.

In the police report, (Name Removed) said Ayres unbuttoned his pants and performed a physical on him during their first session. During another session, Ayres sat in a chair in front of him, made him pull down his pants and touched his penis, saying he wanted to see how "developed" he was, the report said. By the end of the school year, he had failed all his classes, stopped dressing for P.E. and lost interest in drama, (Name Removed) told police.

(Name Removed) said he told his mother what happened and she informed her therapist. The therapist made a report about the alleged molestation to Child Protective Services in 1987.

According to CPS's report, the case was then referred to San Mateo police. After an investigation, the complaint was deemed unfounded.

(Name Removed) showed the Times the CPS report and said he also provided it to San Mateo police when they reinterviewed him last fall.

"This all could have been settled 20 years ago and God knows how many kids he's seen," (Name Removed) said recently. "Twenty years ago I thought it was just me."

(Name Removed)'s complaint, as well as the three others the Times has learned about, does not fall within the statute of limitations for child molestation.

Under a law that went into effect on Jan. 31, 2006, victims can pursue criminal charges up until their 28th birthday. Prior to that, the time period was 10 years.

Well-regarded in the juvenile court system, Ayres was honored by county supervisors in 2002 for his lifetime achievement, commitment to children and for serving on the county's Children & Families First Commission. Ayres helped in developing the commission's strategic plan, which was issued in March 2000.

Reached at his Hillsborough home, Ayres declined to comment on the search warrant. He referred all questions to his attorney, Jim Collins, who was unavailable and has not returned calls from the Times.
A top San Francisco criminal defense attorney, Collins represented Alex Fagan Jr., one of three off-duty San Francisco police officers accused of the November 2002 beating of two men, dubbed the "Fajitagate" scandal. Collins has also defended several priests accused of molestation.

Gerry Hilliard, managing attorney for the Private Defender Program at juvenile court, said Ayres was the "most trusted, most professional and most helpful" of any the psychiatrists the program has worked with.

Hilliard said attorneys in the program have used Ayres to do evaluations of the mental status of their clients. He estimates that Ayres was brought in on about 10 cases a year, but said he has retired and no longer works with the program.

Hilliard said he never heard any complaints from juvenile clients or their parents about Ayres. Hilliard would have no knowledge of (Name Removed)'s 1987 complaint because it was made through the county's child welfare system, not the juvenile court.

"It comes as a shock. I don't believe it," he said of the allegations. "I would use him today had he not retired."

Supervisor Rich Gordon said Ayres' term on the Children & Families First Commission lasted until the end of 2001 and he did not seek reappointment for health reasons. Gordon served with Ayres on the commission for about a year, and remembers the psychiatrist was very interested in teaching fellow board members about early child brain development.

Gordon said he was "very surprised" by the allegations.

"I thought his service on that commission to the county was exemplary," he said.

Barbara Ross said it was Ayres' role as a psychiatrist that made her and her husband initially doubt their son, Douglas, when he told them as a teenager that Ayres molested him.

Ross said police talked to her for the investigation. She said Douglas, who has since passed away, saw Ayres when he was 12 in 1972, because he was afraid of entering junior high. She remembers the psychiatrist giving her son presents.

"At the time I thought it was strange," she said.

Ross said Douglas later told her that Ayres had molested him. She said she and her husband didn't believe their son at the time because they trusted Ayres because he was a doctor.

"We didn't believe him," she said. "You don't believe anyone in that position with that authority (would do that)."

Another alleged victim said he came forward after seeing newspaper articles about the civil settlement this summer. The county resident, who didn't want his named used, said he was molested by Ayres in the late 1960s. The man remembers being in his early teens when his pediatrician referred him to Ayres for pestering his brother.

On their first visit, the man said Ayres made him take his pants and underwear off and did a standard hernia evaluation on him, claims echoed in the statement the man gave to police this fall.
At some point during the approximately eight subsequent visits, the man said, Ayres asked sexually suggestive questions and touched his penis.

Disturbed by the visits, the man told the Times, he formulated a plan to get out of seeing Ayres: stop teasing his brother. He said he didn't remember what happened to him until a few years ago when he started seeing news reports about priests accused of molestation.

"I had mixed feelings about it when the priest thing came out," he said. "I kept looking in the paper for (his) name to see if he had ever been caught."

Another man who, likewise, saw the newspaper articles told police he saw Ayres for psychological therapy in 1978, when he was 12 years old. He also spoke to the Times on the condition that his name not be used.

Early on in their visits, the man said, Ayres had him build models.

"There was no substance to the conversation," he said. "I didn't like him. I didn't know why I was going to him."

During their third session Ayres told the man he needed to give him a physical exam and told him to take off his clothes, according to his statement to police. Ayres explained he needed to check his penis to see if the urethra was correctly centered, then grabbed it and started to stimulate it, the report said.

He told police he pulled away, put his clothes back on and left the office. The man said the alleged molestation took place only once, the report said.

"I told my parents. They didn't respond at all," the man told the Times. "I went back once or twice after that and then I just stopped (going). I don't know why I stopped."

The man said he deeply regrets not reporting it to police sooner.

"I've thought about it every year since it happened," he said.

Staff writer Amy Yarbrough covers police and public safety. She can be reached at (650) 348-4339 or