On the heels of convicted child molester Nechemya Weberman’s sentencing last week to 103 years in prison, the Brooklyn Hasidic community is again facing allegations of child sex abuse in their midst.
33-year-old Yoel Malik was arrested last night and charged with several counts of sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, based on reports that he molested at least four teenage boys.
Malik and the four victims are all members of the Satmar sect and part of the Hasidic community in Brooklyn, officials said. Malik was a teacher at the Yeshiva Ohr-Hamier, which is reportedly closed for financial reasons. All of the victims were students at the school for the 2011-2012 school year.
Nechemya Weberman, an unlicensed therapist jailed for molesting a young girl sent to him for counseling, was also a member of the Brooklyn Satmar Hasidic community.
The NYPD rape hotline received an anonymous call on Sunday reporting an alleged victim of sexual assault, and naming Malik as the assailant. According to the caller, Malik took the victim to a motel at 400 Washinton Avenue in Brooklyn for seven hours.
Police say video footage from the location shows Malik and the victim entering the motel, and the room, as well as leaving the hotel seven hours later.
Police say the victim agreed to discuss the allegations after a pre-planned two-week trip to Israel, but refused to say more over the phone because his parents were present. He is 16 years old.
The caller reported three other victims. Two are 16, the other is 15.
Malik allegedly engaged in various acts with the boys, ranging from fondling to oral and anal sex. The alleged incidents took place in motels and Malik’s car, and a few reportedly occurred in Monticello, NY. The fourth victim reported one experience in a synagogue in Williamsburg.
Cops say Malik told them he was a victim of sexual abuse at age 12 as well, at the hands of a family friend, but refused to produce further information on the incident.
Police report he admitted hotel encounters with the first two victims. The second victim told police Malik massaged his back and neck, and provided him with cigarettes as they watched TV together for three hours in a motel on Shore Parkway. Police say Malik confessed to the massage, but denied providing cigarettes or alcohol.
Malik also confirmed the encounters reported by the third victim, though denied any sexual activity took place, police said. The third victim told police Malik drove him home from school on two occasions and molested him in the car the first time. A week later Malik allegedly performed oral sex on another teenager in the backseat while the third victim was in the passenger seat. When the boy told Malik to stop on the first occasion, he reportedly did; when he asked to be taken home immediately on the second occasion, Malik complied as well.
Malik accused the victims of making sexual advances toward him, which he told police he refused.
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’ office said Malik has not yet been arraigned. His lawyer, Stacey Richman, was reportedly in court and could not be reached for questions.
In 2009, the DA’s office set up a hotline specifically for sex abuse victims in the Orthodox Jewish community, referred to as Kol Tzedek. Spokesman Sandy Silverstein said they’ve “gotten a number of calls” but did not provide exact figures. Silverstein said that since it was established in 2009, the hotline has resulted in more than 100 cases (not necessarily convictions).
The call reporting the allegations against Malik did not go through Kol Tzedek, according to Silverstein.
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