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
Mitchell Courthouse, Room 310
Judge John P. Miller
Baltimore City Circuit Court