Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Case of Rabbi Yisroel Shapiro - Maryland: A Sex Offender Friendly state

The Awareness Center, Inc. Press Statement

(Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault)

For Immediate Release
March 10, 2008

Statement by Vicki Polin, Founder and Executive Director of The Awareness Center, Inc.

Rabbi Yisroel Shapiro Not Placed On Sex Offender Registry - Monday, March 10, 2008 -- Judge John P. Miller of the Baltimore City Circuit Court basically gave Rabbi Israel (Yisroel) Shapiro a slap on the hand after entering an Alford plea on crimnal sexual abuse charges.

Shapiro was sentenced to perform 300 hours of community service and to pay $10,800 in restitution to those he criminally sexually abused. In addition, he was ordered by the court to keep away from anyone under the age of 18.

After calling both the Baltimore City Court House and the Baltimore CIty States Attorneys Office, The Awareness Center was able to confirm that Israel (Yisroel) Shapiro will
NOT be place on the Maryland Sex Offender Registry. The reason is because Maryland is not in compliance with the federal sex offender registry mandate.

An Alford plea allows a defendant to assert his or her innocence, yet admits that sufficient evidence exists with which the prosecution could probably convince a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty.

It has been confirmed that Yisroel Shapiro is an ordained orthodox rabbi, yet the title has been downplayed in the news media and the community. Shapiro comes from a rabbinic family, in which his father (the late
Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro) and his two brothers are also rabbis.

The allegations made by the survivors dated back to 1987-88 and 1993-94. If any of the survivors of Yisroel Shapiro are under the age of 25, they are still eligible to file a civil suit against their offender and also against those who helped to cover up the crime.

According to Maryland law they do not place convicted sex offenders on the state sex offender registry retroactively. If a survivor came forward prior to 1995-96 and the convicted offender was under supervision in 2001, then the offender would be on the registry. Because the survivors in this case waited until recently to come forward, the case would be considered retroactive. This is a law that needs to be changed and put in compliance with the federal mandate.

If you are a Jewish survivor of a sex crime (incest, child sexual abuse, sexual assault, clergy sexual abuse, professional sexual misconduct) please contact The Awareness Center at 443-857-5560.

For more information on this law or if you would like to communicate with Judge John P. Miller:

Baltimore City States Attorney Office
Tammi Griffin-Lawman
Mitchell Courthouse, Room 310

Judge John P. Miller
Baltimore City Circuit Court


Blogger Freedom said...

I don't get it when I see comments like "Maryland: A Sex Offender Friendly State". It's far from 'friendly' and has tightened down plenty over the years. It's not as draconian as some states and cities that have restrictions so tight that there's nowhere for people on the registry to live, but it's far from 'friendly'.

What this rabbi is accused of is horrible, but it was 15-20 years ago and people change. I know, nobody's going to take sides with a sex offender, they think that offenders never change, but all people change. The restrictions the court put on him ensures that if he DOES still have a problem, he'll get nailed to the wall if he offends again and will help ensure that even if he was thinking about it before, he risks too much to act on anything now.

Maryland "not being in compliance with the federal offender registry mandate" is a pretty vague statement. It makes it sound like Maryland is doing something illegal. If we're talking about the Adam Walsh Act, states have until 2009 to comply IF THEY CHOOSE TO. They risk losing some federal funding, but many are considering NOT complying because they have major concerns about how far-reaching the AWA is and it's potential unconstitutionality.

Remember, the federal government was originally supposed to handle international affairs, national defense and any problems between the states, and that's it. It's not their role to dictate the morals and values of individual states. If a state decides that the AWA is overkill, there's nothing wrong with "not being in compliance" with it. It's not mandatory.

This really isn't supposed to be a comment defending sex offenders.. but just note to hopefully get people to think a little deeper on these subjects. Some of the offender laws in place around the country are crazy. Just because Maryland isn't "over the top" yet, doesn't mean it's a haven for offenders and they're going to flock here.

March 11, 2008 7:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI: the rabbi is a convicted sex offender. He's no longer just accused.

Sex offenders don't change. They just learn how to cover things up better.

March 12, 2008 12:31 AM  

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