Baruch Lebovits Pleads Guilty to Molestation
Baruch Lebovits, a once prominent cantor in Brooklyn pleaded guilty on Friday to molesting a teenage boy, according to The New York Times.
Lebovits received a sentence of two years, but will likely serve only a few months in city jail. The arrangement will allow him to count 13 months served in jail under a previous conviction for the same charge towards his sentence.
Lebovits was sentenced in 2010 to serve between 10.5 and 32 years in prison for eight counts of molestation. But, according to the Times, “An appeals court overturned the conviction and authorized his release, ruling that he had been deprived of a fair trial because prosecutors took too long before turning over a detective’s notes about a key witness.”
Prosecutors recently offered Lebovits four to 12 years. Last week, Lebovits’s council sent a memorandum to the State Supreme Court arguing for a lighter sentence, citing the sentences in similar cases. The prosecution offered two to six years, and the judge settled on two.
“It’s a tremendous relief that justice has finally been done,” said Lebovits’ lawyer Arthur Aidala, according to the Daily News.
However, survivors of sexual abuse were quick to denounce the decision. Ben Hirsch, a co-founder of Survivors For Justice, said the ruling shouldn’t be the court’s final word, telling the Daily News: “There’s more than enough blame to go around for the disintegration of the case. We hope DA Thompson pursues an investigation into how this case was destroyed.”