This book is the first to analyse, and attempt to explain the methods by which cases of child sexual abuse have been systematically concealed in Orthodox Jewish communities. The book describes a number of characteristic cases of such cover-ups: first, some cases in which perpetrators were eventually brought to justice, but only after other offenses by the same offender were igred or suppressed; second, cases in which a strong case of child sex abuse was never pursued at all due to pressure from the rabbinate or Orthodox lay leadership. Backlash against victims is also discussed. The book examines the generally disappointing treatment of this issue in popular media, and goes on to discuss the institutions that contribute to the cover-ups, including two - rabbinic courts and local Orthodox patrols - that are more or less unique to Orthodox Jewish communities. Specific examples illustrate the devastating effect these institutions can have on sex abuse victims. Finally, the book explores the cultural factors behind the problem, and offers suggestions for reforms.
Michael Lane Lesher has performed legal work for many victims of child sexual abuse and has also published short fiction and poetry. He lives in Passaic, New Jersey.