Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Family of New Square arson victim files $18 million lawsuit against grand rebbe and suspect

It’s unreal what’s going in our community and for once it’s a good thing.  The garbage is finally going to stop and the perpetrators will pay!
The lawsuits has started, and the clean-up of our rotten leaders, is in full-force!

from http://www.lohud.com/

NEW SQUARE — The family of Aron Rottenberg, who was seriously burned in an arson attack on his home last month, is seeking $18 million in a lawsuit filed Monday against the village's grand rebbe.

In a similar lawsuit also filed Monday, a group of dissidents from the Orange County village of Kiryas Joel is seeking the dissolution of the village's government, which the plaintiffs' attorney described as a theocracy that has for decades ruled its people through religious intolerance and violence.
Rottenberg's lawsuit, filed in state Supreme Court in New City, maintains that a pattern of vandalism and intimidation against him occurred in the six to seven months leading up to the May 22 arson attack that left him with severe burns over nearly 60 percent of his body. That attack, the lawsuit alleges, was endorsed by Grand Rebbe David Twersky, head of the ultrainsular Hasidic enclave.
The alleged intimidation, which began in September 2010, included the expulsion of Rottenberg's 15-year-old daughter from a yeshiva in the village, the lawsuit claims. The lawsuit also notes the family had car windows smashed and received numerous threatening telephone calls — the result of Rottenberg's opting to pray at Friedwald Nursing Home instead of at the synagogue in New Square where Twersky presides.
Also named in the lawsuit as a co-defendant is the primary suspect in the attack, Shaul Spitzer.
In a news conference Monday at his office in Goshen, Rottenberg's attorney, Michael Sussman, accused Spitzer of having perpetrated the attack on Rottenberg's home in order to "set on fire a private home, kill those who were in that home and send a message to everyone else in that community that what the rabbi says, rules."
Rottenberg, 43, was injured after encountering a man approaching his home at 4 a.m. with an incendiary device. Spitzer, 18, has been charged with second-degree attempted murder, first-degree attempted arson and first-degree assault in connection to the attack. He is free on $300,000 bail.

Sussman said that though Spitzer, who had lived in Twersky's home for more than a year before the fire, is the only one to be charged in connection with the arson attack, the culture of the village dictates that he likely acted under orders from a higher authority.

"He was living with (Twersky), and an 18-year-old boy in that community does not act independently," Sussman said. "Anyone who knows anything about the community knows that there's no way he would have done this on his own."
Spitzer is being treated in a New York City hospital for burns suffered in the attack.
Sussman said Monday that the Rottenberg family had continued to receive harassing telephone calls since the May 22 attack.
The $18 million figure noted in the lawsuit was selected to ease Rottenberg's situation and for its meaning in Judaism, Sussman said. Giving money in multiples of 18 is common during special occasions like births and bar mitzvahs. The figure is symbolic of giving life.
"I know the suffering that Mr. Rottenberg is going through," Sussman said.
Rottenberg has been hospitalized with third-degree burns over half his body, injuries he suffered while disrupting the attack. He was scheduled for a major procedure Monday at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla to remove dressings that cover skin grafts over much of his body. The results of that procedure were not disclosed Monday afternoon.
Twersky, 70, has served as the head of the Skyer Hasidic village of New Square since 1968. He rarely speaks publicly and did not comment on the arson attack until four days later. His legal representation was not known Monday.
Sussman said he intends to file additional lawsuits against village and county officials but provided no timeline for such actions.
Sussman also is representing a group of dissidents from Kiryas Joel who are suing the Satmar Hasidic village's majority leadership, alleging decades of religious discrimination and violence.
That lawsuit, a nearly 60-page document filed Monday in federal court, describes Kiryas Joel's government as a theocracy in which the laws of the state are secondary to the laws of the religious leadership.
"We contend in that lawsuit that (Kiryas Joel's) government inherently violates the First Amendment because it inherently trespasses upon the separation of church and state," Sussman said, later adding: "Religion is wonderful, but it cannot dominate the state and that's what's been going on in Kiryas Joel."

Rabbi Nuchem, stop making a chillul hashem already! You are constantly making a chilul hashem with your hotline and ruining our image

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