Wednesday, the founding member of a prominent anti-crime organization in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community was convicted of raping a teenage girl who was entrusted to his guardianship. In light of his status, the girl was sentenced to seventeen years in prison.
Earlier this year, Jacob Daskal, 64, entered a plea of guilty in federal court in Brooklyn to charges that he engaged in sexual abuse and grooming of a 15-year-old girl. The child had moved in with Daskal and his wife as an escape from a troubled family situation.
Daskal pleaded for forgiveness and expressed “overwhelming regret” for his actions during an emotional sentencing on Wednesday, as dozens of his supporters, including eight of his adult children, sobbed and prayed in the packed courtroom.
Daskal presided over the Borough Park Shomrim Society, a volunteer crime patrol organization with strong ties to the New York Police Department, at the time of the sexual abuse. It is among a number of private organizations that function as an informal law enforcement agency within the secluded Orthodox Jewish communities of the city.
In 2017, Daskal was introduced to the girl by her relatives, who were in search of the Shomrim’s counsel on how to proceed with persistent family matters. After initially residing in Brooklyn with Daskal and his wife, the 15-year-old was subsequently relocated to their summer residence in South Fallsburg, New York, which is located approximately three hours north of the city.
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