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More troubles for sex abuse rabbi
The Borough Park cantor sentenced to 32 years in prison for molesting a 16-year-old boy in 2004 could be facing more years behind bars if two new sex abuse cases against him are allowed to continue.
This week, a judge is expected to decide whether or not to quash new criminal allegations filed by an 18-year-old who said Rabbi Barauch Lebovits attacked him two years earlier, as well as one made by a 22-year-old man who claimed Lebovits sexually abused him when he was 12.
At the same time, law enforcement sources said several more would-be victims have come forward, claiming that Lebovits sexually abused them when they were children.
Many of the victims may never see their day in court, however, since their allegations are too old to be prosecuted, officials said.
Lebovits has just begun serving his 32-year sentence for sexually abusing 16-year-old on eight separate occasions.
Prosecutors charge Lebovits repeatedly lured the teen into his car and performed sex acts on him.
His attorney Arthur Aidala, who is currently appealing the verdict, told us that the allegation was made after the victim learned that Lebovits’ son won the lottery in Israel and had become a multi-millionaire.
“[Lebovits] is being extorted because one of his sons recently found wealth,” Aidala said after his client was sentenced — a theory which has some bite now that more and more people are coming forward with horrific stories about him.
Bicycle bash to go to trial
A bicyclist sideswiped by a livery cab driver can have his day in court, a judge announced as he quashed the car service dispatcher’s attempt to have the case dismissed.
In recently released court papers, Judge Mark Partnow said that there were several triable issues about the hit-and-run case filed against Fenix Car Service Corp. that should be hammered out in court.
Yet attorneys for the car service say they’re blameless in the July 30, 2006 accident on Stanhope Street between Cypress and Seneca avenues when a livery cab with a Fenix Car Service logo got so close to bicyclist Joselito Rivera that its side view mirror collided with the bike rider’s handlebars.
Rivera was knocked to the ground, sustaining several injuries.
The driver never stopped.
In court papers, Rivera admits that he never caught the vehicle’s license plate, but he did notice a Fenix logo sticker on the vehicle’s passenger side rear window.
Attorneys for Fenix said the company isn’t responsible since they’re merely a livery cab dispatch service.
“Fenix does not own any motor vehicles and its employees are dispatchers, operators and personnel,” Fenix President Antonio Vaca said in his affidavit.
The livery cab driver that struck Rivera was most likely one of the many “independent contractors who own their vehicles and pay their own car insurance,” but give Fenix a small percentage of their earnings for the company’s dispatch services, he wrote.
But, at the same time, Fenix does require these independent contractors to follow a dress code set as well as abide to a “code of professional conduct,” Rivera’s attorneys learned.
Finding Fenix’s “control over certain aspects of the driver’s conduct and work performance” up to debate, Judge Partnow denied the motion to have the case quashed, allowing the case to go to a jury.
Union ‘boss hog’ pleads guilty
The former head of a Port Authority union pled guilty to living high on the hog — with a pen of hookers, no less — with $300,000 of his members’ money on June 16.
Daniel Hughes, 49, the disgraced president of the Port Authority Field Supervisors Association — the group that represents Port Authority facilities, tunnels, bridges and airports — admitted to swiping thousands from the union bank account between January, 2005 to December, 2007 during a hearing in Brooklyn Federal Court.
He freely admitted to using the cash to pay for expensive dinners, lavish casino vacations and steamy trysts with high priced hookers.
Hughes faces five years in jail at sentencing, said Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
“A union relies on its leaders to act with honesty and integrity,” Lynch said in a statement. “When union members are defrauded by one whose job it is to act on their behalf, we will bring the wrongdoer to justice.”
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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