Mr. Charles Hynes has won election six times as District Attorney in Brooklyn. Much of his support comes from ultra-Orthodox rabbis and the growing communities in neighborhoods like Borough Park and Crown Heights that they lead (with at least 200,000 people).
According to an article in the New York Times, there have been more and more allegations of child sexual abuse in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, and victims’ rights groups are angry about the treatment that these cases have been receiving. The groups state that Hynes is not vigorously pursuing these cases because of his strong ties to the rabbis who act as a cover-up for many of their constituents. These rabbis believe that sexual abuse cases should be decided in the community rather than getting the police involved.
In 2009, after much criticism about his treatment of sex abuse cases in the Brooklyn ultra-Orthodox community, Charles Hynes created a program called Kol Tzedek. This program was made to “ensure safety in the community and to fully support those affected by abuse,” according to the Brooklyn DA’s office. The office reports that the program has led to 95 arrests involving 120 victims of sex abuse.
However, Hyne’s detractors do not believe he is doing enough and that even when arrests are made the punishments are too lenient for the crime. Many perpetrators are being let off with only probation, and their names are not being published.
Many people think this culture of secrecy in the ultra-Orthodox community is what perpetuates the problem of sexual abuse.