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Police Reject Bima Rape Allegations: Calls for Manny Waks to Make a Statement

March 2, 2014 – 12:14 pm49 Comments

From the editor:

yeshiva2The Age reported on Friday afternoon that police have dropped all charges against Rabbi Glick related to the bima rape case. Addendum/correction: no charges were ever actually laid. The police have simply decided that there is no case to investigate.

A Facebook post by Rabbi Glick’s niece, Chevi Levin, is quoted: “This is NOT a case of no evidence or stale evidence. Rather, police have rejected the allegations, which were vexatious and wholly without substance. Police have further denied the accuser avenues of furthering his fictitious claim to the DPP.

“Unfortunately, there is little which can be done to prevent false accusers from making claims against ANYONE (a scary thought indeed!) Yet today, justice has triumphed. Today, Hashem’s help and guidance has set an innocent man free. Today, community support has warmed our hearts. And today- well, today is the day that Rabbi Glick gets his life back.”

In response, a number of people have called for Manny Waks to make a statement regarding the dropped charges.

Mr. Waks is currently in Israel, which may explain a delay in releasing a statement, if he is required to consult with board members before commenting on a case that is the subject of ongoing legal action. In December last year, Rabbi Glick began defamation action against Mr. Waks over Mr Waks’s role in publicising the bima rape accusations.

Because Mr Waks was so vocal when the allegations first came to light – indeed, he offered me (Alex Fein) an interview with the person making the accusation, which I turned down for ethical reasons – there is a widespread feeling within the religious community that an apology should be forthcoming.

Many Orthodox Jews – both on the left and right – felt that Mr Waks’s response to Bima rape case was injudicious and was characteristic of his hostility to the Orthodox community, unfairly tarnishing all religious Jews, even though many were initially  very supportive of Mr. Waks and his campaign to expose cover ups of abuse at Yeshivah College.

Indeed, there is a degree of anger at the media portrayal of Mr. Waks and his father, Zephania. Many Orthodox Jews feel that disingenuous statements had been made and remained unquestioned by journalists. There is particular concern about an upcoming ABC documentary, The Whistleblowers, in which Manny Waks’s parents, Zephania and Chaya, allege they have been forced to leave Melbourne due to their campaign against abuse. This claim has been strongly refuted by their son, Avi Yemini, in an extremely raw and emotional Facebook post in which he excoriated his father for what he believed was gross hypocrisy.

There is currently a petition circulating in the community that expresses disquiet with the manner in which the Whistleblowers was filmed. It states, “Our children were videoed and photographed without knowledge or consent of parents for a documentary called “The Whistleblowers” to be aired on the ABC’s Compass program. Film crew were stationed directly near the entrance and exit of our school during morning drop off and afternoon pick up times. The school was not informed, parents were not given a chance to opt out of the filming and the film crew would not leave when requested and police had to be called. ABC should not be allowed to use footage of parents or children without their consent and we are petitioning to exercise our rights to opt out of appearing in this documentary.”

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49 Comments »

  • Menachem says:

    Well well well.
    It took a member of their own family to expose the truth about the waks
    And I agree that an apology is due from Manny
    The credibility of his tzedek organization is now challenged

  • Joe in Australia says:

    I’m very glad the police have found no substance in the charges against Rabbi Glick, although I can’t say I ever thought the accusations were plausible. It’s a shame that our legal system doesn’t actually offer a way for him to clear his name without a trial, but I think an apology from the people pushing the allegations would at least demonstrate some belated good faith.

  • Whatever Was says:

    There are still many unanswered questions in all this
    What will happen to those who have been throwing Glick’s name around the community for months before the police questioned him?

    Will Manny resign over the fact that he was pedaling the complainant like a sensationalist tabloid reporter?

    Is Tzedek now untenable as a communal organization, and should it be folded into the various other communal groups that deal with abuse?

  • YBR parent says:

    Unfortunately the initial good work of Tzedek is coming to an end due to the vendetta against Yeshivah by its CEO. Let’s hope that the board of Tzedek rethinks this approach and puts a tight reign on Manny.

    Unrelated to Tzedek but of great concern to parents of children at YBR – please sign the petition:
    Please sign the petition:
    http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/abc-australian-broadcasting-corporation-remove-video-and-photographic-footage-taken-outside-yeshivah-college-for-the-use-in-compass-upcoming-documentary-the-whistleblowers?utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_facebook_mobile&recruiter=64107890

  • Gavin Queit says:

    Whilst I have known Rabbi Glick for many years and I am thrilled that he has no case to answer, I have not made any public comments to anyone about this, nor have I called on Manny Waks or anyone at Tzedek to make any statement. Please correct the article.

  • Galus Australis says:

    Hi Gavin.

    You linked to The Age article on Manny’s FB wall. A reasonable person would assume you were doing so in the hope of eliciting a comment from Manny.

    Best,
    Alex.

  • Conflict of Interest says:

    Galus, the assumption drawn with regards to Gavin seems quite untenable. Sharing a newsworthy item- the decision by police to reject and charges against Rabbi Glick- does not appear to be equivalent to calling on Waks to make a statement.

    By the logic implied, in linking to a petition, and allowing a further reference to be published to it, you are calling on all readers to take a stand and sign the petition.

    Surely this doesn’t pass the ‘smell test!’

    More to the point, though, is the question of exactly what role Mr Waks is playing in this debate. I have previously written on the question, that Mr Waks cannot be both a victim seeking compensation and an impartial leader, acting in the interests of all victims. It is an open question as to whether Tzedek would have taken the same active approach in promoting claims against another entity in the community, unafiliated with Yeshiva.
    The fact that this question is at the forefront of so many people’s minds is proof enough that Mr Waks is compromised.

  • bobbybasrah says:

    Looks like Waks is taking his time on responding to this matter. (Unlike the swift attacks when pushing his own agenda.)

    And, BTW, what about Derryn Hinch?
    see http://www.humanheadline.com.au/hinch-says/no-end-in-sight

    Can we expect an apology from him as well?

  • Sunshine says:

    Apparently it’s ok to make assumptions about Gavin. Queit but not about anyone else?

    Shame on you

    Ten years after the disappearance of Daniel morcombe his murderer was found after being questioned multiple times over the years.

    If you are in the business of assuming stuff “reasonable person” what would this lead you to assume.

  • sara says:

    This story is complex and tragic. The individual who made this claim believes it, and he probably needs help. I feel for him in his pain. I also hope that this does not deter victims of abuse from naming their molesters for fear of not being believed.

  • Joe in Australia says:

    Sara: that’s a good point, and it makes me wish that Tzedek had never been involved. In Manny’s absence the complainant would have made a report to police (or not) and the matter would have been quietly dropped. Instead, there has been a long and public process at the conclusion of which the complainant is told that his story was false. That can’t have been good for him; it certainly wasn’t good for Rabbi Glick or the Jewish community generally. I don’t know if Manny or Tzedek were the ones who approached Derryn Hinch and the other media, but whoever did it certainly wasn’t working in the interest of sexual assault victims.

  • Conflict of Interest says:

    this again highlights the challenge faced by victim advocacy organisations- simply put, are they acting in the interests of the victim in front of them, or of unknown or future victims? The publicity can be good for helping others come forward and for general deterrence, but it is rarely good for the victim in question.

    The same challenge, it must be acknowledged, was faced by the many people approached by victims for counselling and/or support. For those who do NOT have a mandatory reporting obligation, do you respect the victim’s wishes and maintain their privacy, or act to stop a perpetrator and report the matter, even in breach of duties of confidentiality?

    In Victoria, the Law Reform Commission produced a fascinating report on the issue, which is available online for free. Among other things, it notes that mandatory reporting makes it harder for victims to find support on their own terms. Clergy, unless they are also within the named professions with mandatory reporting obligations, are at the forfront of this challenge.

  • Sunshine says:

    Just read the petition

    Let me get this right

    The police were called when the children were filmed

    The police were not called when the children were molested and raped

    What a wonderful school

  • Joe in Australia says:

    David Werdiger has an article on this subject in the Times of Israel:
    Anatomy of an “Investigation”

  • Steven says:

    Say you have a ‘victim’ who goes to the police to report a rape that happened to him when he was a child. Would his case be strengthened if there were other victims? How do you get others to come forward decades later? Is some publicity a necessary evil to get paedophiles off the street?

  • a very good man, has had some foolish nonsense that had hardly any credibility in the first place [may as well have “abused” someone in the middle of Hotham St during peak hour as attack someone in the Shule] dismissed.
    and what does Rabbi Glick get for his person and character being violated?
    and what does his anonymous accuser suffer for his violation?

    the cause may be honourable and just but the frenzy is foolish and feckless, flimsy, fabulist and even facinorous

    do people remember how much about “repressed memories” and the disaster it caused so many – only to be dismissed so many years later?

    Perhaps its time to re-visit the Laws of Lashon Hara with an open mind and some respect for our traditions and our ancient wisdom

  • Pinchas says:

    @sunshine

    So, let me get this straight. Kids were abused many years ago, so we should exploit young innocent kids in return??

  • Sunshine says:

    @pinchus

    They are already exploited by being forced to accept a man who covers up molestation and already being exploited by the leaders plying them wih alcohol. Very common as I’ve seen

    A barely recognisable face outside a school is the least of their problems and With only 200 signatures it seems the majority of Jews are in my side

  • Joe in Australia says:

    Steven wrote:

    Say you have a ‘victim’ who goes to the police to report a rape that happened to him when he was a child. Would his case be strengthened if there were other victims? How do you get others to come forward decades later?

    That would be a judgment for the police, not some third party whose motives are at best unclear.

    Is some publicity a necessary evil to get paedophiles off the street?

    I don’t think Manny Waks’ actions on this occasion either “got paedophiles off the street” or were in any way necessary. On the contrary: they have established an unfortunate precedent.

    I’m astonished that you describe a whispering campaign against an innocent man as “a necessary evil”. Has Manny engaged in other “necessary evils” for the sake of a greater good, and has he kept Tzedek’s board fully apprised of them?

  • Pinchas says:

    @Sunshine
    So your answer is to exploit them further?

  • Sunshine says:

    I’m thinking that pinchus you don’t understand sarcasm.

    Any school that supports molestors has no room to criticize those about to expose them.

    But you’ve agreed with me that the school has exploited their pupils so we are on the same side

  • Sunshine says:

    Interesting Joe, but perhaps that’s exactly what happened here.

  • Pinchas says:

    @sunshine

    I agree that kids have been abused and hurt
    It is such a terrible tragedy
    Thank G-d times and attitudes have changed and victims can come forward and like the two recent paedophiles who have been arrested, charged and convicted and sentenced, abusers and criminals WILL be made accountable.

    I don’t believe that way to reduce child abuse is by humiliating the community and especially innocent kids, rather we should be educating children so they don’t get abused in the first place and educate the adults to notice the signs.

  • Joe in Australia says:

    Rabbi Glick’s solicitor has released a statement with his views on the affair:
    Rabbi Glick: His solicitor speaks

  • Steven says:

    Joe, I never said “that you describe a whispering campaign against an innocent man as “a necessary evil”, so I am surprised you are astonished. I would have prefered the police to say something along the lines of ‘Rabbi Glick is being investigated and other victims are urged to come forward’.

  • Whatever Was says:

    Rabbi Glick’s attorney speak:
    http://www.jwire.com.au/news/rabbi-glick-his-solicitor-speaks/40875

    “He has been besmirched in the media, scandalously attacked on the internet.”
    And who would have driven the witch hunt? I am sure that the press in Australia did not as one decide to start reporting on the story. Someone fed them the story and pushed them to publish. Will this person be outed?

    Perhaps the disservice that this case has done to their cause perhaps Tzedek could investigate and attempt to silence the leaker.

  • Sunshine says:

    Thinking the reason neither Waks nor Glicks lawyers on his side have mentioned each other is they are not allowed to or have agreed not to.

    Perhaps they both know more then they let on

    If seeing faces is exploitative I’m
    Sure ABC can make them fuzzy. Happens all the time

  • Joe in Australia says:

    The police did confirm that Rabbi Glick was being investigated. They could hardly call for “other victims” to come forward, given that there were no victims at all. But that’s not what we have been discussing: nobody here has criticised the police’s actions. The question is whether Manny Waks (or whoever was pushing the allegations to the media) was acting appropriately. Do you have a view on that question? Do you believe it was a necessary evil?

  • Sunshine says:

    [defamatory content removed]
    He’s never appologised to the victims or the public for his disgraceful actions so his character was long destroyed by his actions and there is hope he will be punished still.

  • WasThere says:

    @Joe….

    I reject your claim that there “were no victims at all”….

    You do not know this….None of us know one way or the other….

    Police not laying charges does in no way mean that they do not believe the complainant to be credible….

    There are cases everyday where people are not charged even though the cops are almost 100% sure of guilt….

    At the end of the day the decision to proceed or not is not in the hands of the police but rather with the DPP(Department of Public Prosecutions….

    It’s the job of the DPP to determine the likelihood of conviction if they proceed….
    Could easy be that they just decided not to proceed for a variety of reasons…

    Should further victims or any other evidence surface at a later date the case would be reopened….

  • MeToo?YouToo? says:

    @WasThere

    I agree with you – a non prosecution doesn’t mean someone is guilt free, just that for some reason they can’t be found guilty (although I would have thought that being innocent is the most significant factor behind this).

    That being said, I think it is important to stress one very important point. Although I don’t know you personally, I’m going to assume you have never been found guilty of a sexual abuse crime. I’m also going to assume that you’d prefer I allow you a presumption of more than “not found guilty yet” and for me to actually assume your genuine innocence.

    If someone (or claims against them) have been investigated (and I’m not sure if we yet know to what extent these investigations were prompted by the accused taking himself in by his own choice) and no charges laid then I think that person deserves the same presumption of innocence at this point of time – not a presumption of “not found guilty yet” – that we all deserve until something has been proven otherwise.

    I’m not saying that you are personally making an accusation of guilt in this situation, but as a community we need to ensure that we can call for mandatory reporting and for all accusations to be thoroughly investigated and at the same time maintaining a presumption of innocence for all until proven otherwise.

  • Joe in Australia says:

    WasThere wrote:

    At the end of the day the decision to proceed or not is not in the hands of the police but rather with the DPP(Department of Public Prosecutions….

    It’s the job of the DPP to determine the likelihood of conviction if they proceed….
    Could easy be that they just decided not to proceed for a variety of reasons…

    According to Chevi Levin, quoted in The Age, the police chose not to refer the complaint to the DPP. So this is more than a decision not to prosecute: the police actually rejected the complaint.

    Formerly, the people who wanted to pre-filter sexual abuse allegations said that every allegation stains the reputation of the accused, no matter how frivolous the complaint, and that complaints should be scrutinised before being reported. I’m sure you don’t mean to take their side, but that’s what your position implies: every subject of an allegation has been sentenced to a lifetime of suspicion in the court of public opinion. I disagree.

    The police are trained and equipped to investigate sexual abuse allegations; nobody else can be trusted to filter or screen complaints. But our trust has to go both ways; we trust them to decide whether a case is substantial and whether it is merely fanciful. There are necessarily gray areas, in which there is a substantial case but no successful prosecution, but that doesn’t mean that every case is gray: in this case, the police have decided that there is no case to answer and we (not having any personal knowledge) should respect that decision.

  • WasThere says:

    @MeToo?YouToo?….

    I agree with you….And I do not and did not make any assumption either way….
    My point to Joe is that we just don’t know the reasons why the matter has been dropped….

    It is worth to mention that just like in the cases of Cyprys and Kramer and even to an extent the former teacher from Mount Scopus College it doesn’t take long for victim #2 then #3 then #4 and so on to come forward and also make statements to the police…

    Glick has been a teacher at Yeshivah for more then 30 years….
    History shows that be it a teacher, a priest a scout leader a swim teacher or similar there is rarely just one victim….
    It’s usually multiple victims over multiple years….

    It is therefore my opinion that without more former students coming forward and making similar claims that it must be presumed that the entire “Bima” claim is without credibility….

  • WasThere says:

    @Joe….

    Where do you see anything in my post that implies that I think that anything other then reporting to the police is what should be done???…

    Shame on you for even suggesting this…

  • MeToo?YouToo? says:

    @Joe / @WasThere

    If only the entire community could take the approach that I think you are both advocating for and wholeheartedly support mandatory reporting and the proper investigation of all claims without allowing those investigations to stain someone’s name forever independent of the outcome.

    I’m fearful that in the court of public opinion too often one is judged as guilty as soon as some sort of claim has been made and really hope that as a community we can one day come to accept the rulings and decisions of the legal process as you both suggest.

  • Joe in Australia says:

    WasThere:

    You might think you’re erring on the side of caution, but you’re really fostering a climate in which people have good reason to be afraid of unfounded accusations that will never go away. The people who supported pre-filtering accusations thought they had some special insight that was more reliable than a police investigation. You’ve got the same belief. Their motive was to protect people from malicious accusations; your motive is (presumably) to be extra careful about child safety, but neither of you are willing to accept the outcome of a police investigation. That’s why I say you’re on the same side: you both deprecate actual investigations by trained officers in favor of gut feelings driven by personal theories and prejudice.

  • Nadav Prawer says:

    Anyone interested in understanding the extremely complex issues involved in mandatory reporting, including the challenges and damage to victims that often results, should begin with the VLRC report on the issue. Suffice it to say that universal mandatory reporting results in victims who wish to preserve privacy being barred from seeking assistance or counselling. For that reason, mandatory reporting is confined to certain roles, such as teachers, and not to anyone.

  • Joe in Australia says:

    Tzedek’s website was updated yesterday: Jewish Telegraphic Agency: Australia funding group for Jewish victims of child sex abuse

    I don’t see any comment on the recent investigation into Rabbi Glick, but those of us who are fascinated by this communal soap opera will be pleased to learn that Tzedek will be around until at least 2016.

  • WasThere says:

    @Joe…

    No I have never supported pre-filtering….
    You on the other hand….Well people can look up old threads here and at FM to see your position…

  • Joe in Australia says:

    Manny Waks has issued another press release: Rabbi Melchior joins Tzedek Board of Advisors

  • Joe in Australia says:

    The JTA reports Aron Kestecher, Melbourne molestation suspect, dies in apparent suicide

    Here’s Tzedek’s Facebook post regarding him, made last November.

  • Sunshine says:

    So Waks has apologised to Glick 4 months After the fact

    [potentially defamatory material removed]

  • Joe in Australia says:

    Manny Waks’ Facebook page now has the following statement:

    APOLOGY TO RABBI GLICK

    During December 2013, I posted certain statements on Tzedek’s website and on my personal Facebook page and permitted a third party to post a statement on Tzedek’s website, which referred to allegations made against Rabbi Abraham Glick.

    In particular, I posted certain statements that suggested to some that Rabbi Glick was guilty and permitted a third party to post a statement stating that Rabbi Glick had admitted to the allegations made. I accept that those statements about Rabbi Glick were false and inaccurate, and accept and believe that Rabbi Glick was at all times completely innocent of the allegations made.

    I unreservedly apologise to Rabbi Glick and his family and retract those statements.

    Manny Waks

  • keepthefactsstraight says:

    The police statement linked below is inconsistent with some of the public claims of Rabbi Glick’s supporters:

    http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451b71f69e201a73d9ef8f9970d-pi

  • Sunshine says:

    Still waiting for apology fr those who hid and covered up child abuse

    Is it ok to say that?

  • Naftoli says:

    2 points which have been getting on my nerve…

    The FM blog/website is full of untruths, inaccuracies and one sided reports. There is very little actual news and the majority of that is biased against whoever the writer has a vendetta against (usually anyone in the Orthodox camp be they charedi, modern Orthodox, Chabad, Litvish etc)

    Does the continuing call for an apology from “those who hid and covered up child abuse” include the police who refused to do anything when Manny first reported his abuse to them? Does it take into account the many statements from the Yeshivah administration over the last few years decrying what happened in the past?

  • Joe in Australia says:

    “keepthefactsstraight”, it’s exactly the sort of letter you would expect a complainant to receive in any case where the police have chosen to not lay charges.

    In any event, now that Manny himself has acknowledged that the allegations were false, why keep beating a dead horse? If Manny was an expert then he’s an expert now; if he could be trusted then he could be trusted now; why not just drop the matter?

  • WasThere says:

    LOL…I guess that’s one way you could spin it Joe…

  • Sunshine says:

    Yes Naftoli that includes the police

    In fact I’m
    Hoping they anyone who helped cover up will all be charged and jailed for their part in ensuring more children were raped and molested while their rapists were hailed as “real menches” and “religious pious men”

    We are not the chosen people and behaved despicably. The Catholic Church was no different

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