He told his teacher what had happened, but the teacher said that Lebovits was a “respected person” and instructed him not to think about the incident again.
In a community where non-procreative sex is considered shameful, molestation tends to be regarded in roughly the same light as having an affair.
When children complain about being molested, the council almost never notifies the police.
After listening to Kellner’s story, Flohr called the modesty councils in Borough Park and Williamsburg (where there are sixty thousand Hasidim) to see if other children had reported being molested by Lebovits.
Flohr wrote in an affidavit that “numerous complaints and allegations of a similar nature had been made against Baruch Lebovits dating back over a long period of time.” Flohr told Kellner that he was justified in going to the police, because Lebovits could be considered a , or pursuer, someone who is endangering the lives of other Jews. It is forbidden to trouble him or humiliate him.”With the rabbi’s approval, Kellner took his son, whom I’ll call Yossel, to the offices of the Brooklyn Special Victims Unit, in Crown Heights, to speak with Steven Litwin, the senior detective.
“They became dead-enders, lost souls, outcasts,” he told me.