Troubled Trial of Sam Kellner Is Delayed — Claimed His Son Was Abused

Brooklyn Dad Charged With Shaking Down Accused Molester

Cleared: Baruch Lebovits conviction was overturned amid questions about testimony against him. The extortion trial of Sam Kellner, whose son was allegedly molested by Lebovits, has now been delayed.
Cleared: Baruch Lebovits conviction was overturned amid questions about testimony against him. The extortion trial of Sam Kellner, whose son was allegedly molested by Lebovits, has now been delayed.

By Paul Berger

Published November 12, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The troubled bribery and extortion trial of a Brooklyn man who says his son was a victim of child abuse has been delayed — again.

Laughter could be heard in the Brooklyn Supreme Court courtroom, November 12, when prosecutor John Holmes said that the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office was still not ready to try the case, which has dragged on for two years.

Kellner is accused of paying a witness $10,000 to falsely testify in the trial of a Brooklyn cantor on sex abuse charges. He is also accused of trying to extort the cantor’s family for $400,000.

Kellner’s lawyers had anticipated that the charges against their client would be dropped this week.

Lawyer Michael Dowd told the court that prosecutors contacted his office last week to say that they were dropping the case for lack of evidence.

The same prosecutors told the court in July that a key witness against Kellner had given inconsistent testimony.

But, according to the New York Post, Brooklyn rackets chief Michael Vecchione overruled the prosecutors and demoted them.

Prosecutor Holmes said that he did not know who had been assigned to take over the case. Nor could he answer questions posed by Kellner’s attorney or by Judge Ann M. Donnelly.
Donnelly set a trial date for the first week in January.

By that time, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes will have been replaced by Ken Thompson, who shocked observers by beating Hynes in this year’s election.

Contact Paul Berger at berger@forward.com or on Twitter @pdberger


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.