"Justice was done," said Mordechai Jungreis on April 18 in a New York court after a fellow member of their Orthodox Hasidic Jewish community plead guilty to sexually abusing Jungreis’s son in 2010. Meir Dascalowitz, 29, will get a 5-year prison sentence and be required to register as a sex-offender upon release. The victim is now 17 years old. Of the outcome, Jungreis said "I'm happy to show the community that the game is over — if you do the crime, you need to do the time."
The victim is disabled. Jungreis said "it would have been very hard" for his son to have taken the stand in court.
Dascalowitz was arrested in May 2010 for having raped the boy in a ritual bath used by pious Jews in accordance with the Torah. "After schlepping for three years, thank God he took a plea," Jungreis said following the hearing in Brooklyn Supreme Court. "It hurts what happened to my child." The victim has been described as having serious learning disabilities. Traumatized by the attack, he is regularly checked for signs of HIV/AIDS infection.
Judge Joseph Gubbay asked Dascalowitz, "Do you admit that you … engaged in anal sexual conduct with a person who was less than 15 years old?” Dascalowitz answered, “Yes.”
The case was controversial in the close-knit Orthodox Jewish community, pitting members against each other over the accusations and the trial. Jungreis said that his co-religionists exerted tremendous pressure on him and his family, kicking him out of his apartment and expelling his children from a private school. His family was shunned, according to the New York Daily News, because he had filed a report against a fellow Jew. "What we went through is unbelievable… the torture," he said. "But I didn't give up."
The 38-year-old Jungreis had earlier condemned the pressure placed on him by his community. He is just one of a handful of victims' kin to resist systemic harassment for having lodged complaints without approval by rabbis, declared the prosecution.
Dascalowitz’s attornery, Israel Fried, expressed satisfaction that the trial was at an end. "It will bring closure to the family, we hope," he said.
According to the Daily News, Mark Meyer Appel, who runs an advocacy organization called Voice of justice, said he's pleased with the outcome, saying that the victim “went through hell” and was spared the turmoil of the trial.
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