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

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By that time, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes will have been replaced by Ken Thompson, who shocked observers by beating Hynes in this year’s election.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

Written by

Paul Berger

Paul Berger

Paul Berger has been a staff writer at the Forward since 2011, covering crime and healthcare issues, such as sex abuse, circumcision, and fraud. He is a fluent Russian speaker and has reported from Russia and Ukraine. He also likes digging into historicalmysteries .

Your Comments

The 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 Forward requires 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 and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. 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 Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

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

Thank you!

This article has been sent!