NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A surprising number of child sex abuse cases are surfacing in the Orthodox Jewish community.
The latest one, uncovered by the Brooklyn District Attorney, accuses a man of preying on young boys.
It’s one of the latest cases to rock the Orthodox community. Andrew Goodman, a 27-year-old from Midwood, is charged with with 144 counts of sexual abuse of two boys.
It’s charged that since 2006, Goodman, who worked for Jewish social service agencies, sexually abused one boy aged 11 to 15, and another, age 13 to 16, while recording the activity on a webcam.
“I spoke to the two boys. They are 100 percent credible,” said Rabbi Shea Hecht with the National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education.
Hecht said one of the two alleged victims is especially credible.
“He remembered everything — dates, times,” Hecht told CBS 2’s John Slattery.
Goodman lives on East 15th Street, where community members say they shot a video of teens, entering and leaving his home during early hours.
“To say that these kids spent an exorbitant amount of time with him does not in and of itself mean that crimes were committed,” Goodman’s attorney, Israel Fried, said.
Fried said the only evidence he knows of is the word of the kids.
“There are inconsistencies — meaning that it’s not a slam dunk,” he said.
The DA’s office said in the last three years 85 accused Orthodox child molesters have been charged involving 117 victims — 38 cases have been resolved with 14 convictions.
“When that person is arrested for doing it to one victim or to two victims, I guarantee there are 10, 20, 30 victims somewhere out there in the community,” Assemblyman Dov Hikind said.
Hikind said one of the great difficulties in such cases is to get the families of alleged victims to come forward, because of the intense social consequences.
Goodman is locked up at Rikers Island with bail set at $1 million.
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