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Kids Allegedly Molested at Orthodox Jewish Summer Camp

Aug 16, 2012 | Parker Waichman LLP

State Police in New York are investigating a possible incident a Orthodox Jewish boys' summer camp in which a food delivery person snuck into the sleeping quarters of campgoers and sexually molested them.

According to The New York Post newspaper, a kosher-food delivery person allegedly snuck onto the Camp Shalva campgrounds ub South Fallsburg, N.Y., under the ruse of his job in the pre-dawn hours Wednesday morning and entered the sleeping quarters inhabited at the time by "just-Bar Mitzvahed" boys.

Later that morning, several campers notified camp administrators of the man's actions. The camp administrators called a criminal attorney who informed them to call the District Attorney in Brooklyn, where most of the campgoers live, and State Police to conduct a proper investigation into the allegations. Initially, according to The Post, camp administrators advised the campers to avoid telling their parents of the incident.

A sexual abuse advocacy group based in Brooklyn was informed of the allegations at Camp Shivla early Thursday afternoon and referred the case to State Police in New York.

New York State Police are now investigating whether or not that food delivery person was a known sex offender and how he could have been allowed onto the campgrounds undetected as he did. Security footage from Camp Shavla allegedly shows the perpetrator sneaking into the sleeping cabins and molesting the children while they were in their beds.

The Post reports that news of the allegations were first mentioned on a Yiddish Internet chat site, which then quickly led to camp administrators hearing of the reports. 

This is the latest in a growing number of sexual abuse allegations among the Orthodox Jewish community, which for years has attempted to hide these immoral perpetrators from civil prosecutors and thus, avoiding bad publicity for the mostly closed society. Victims - predominantly young boys - have been hesitant to come forward with allegations against their abusers partly because of their religious teachings and also because of intimidation on the part of families close to those accused and church officials, who are still looking to avoid more bad publicity.

An effort by Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes is aimed at rooting out the accused sexual abusers among the Orthodox Jewish community in his borough but at the same time, his office has been accused of siding with church officials who want to shield the accusers from prosecution.

The victims in this latest incident at the Jewish boys' camp in New York initially has all the hallmarks of previous incidents. The Post reports the victims, who have not been reached yet for comments but commented through attorneys and advocates on their behalf, that they are unsure of how to deal with their abuse incidents.

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