I apologize for not providing coverage of the Goat trial sooner, but the Goat trial went on into Friday afternoon and I didn’t have a chance to type before sundown. I drove by the Goat yeshiva on my way home and noticed that the Goat’s minivan was parked at his school building erev Shabbos. I didn’t see any out of State cars which would indicate that the Goat had paid young men to make his minyan of ten guys required for prayer services. I did notice that the Goat had a prayer book early in the morning and was reading tehillim before court while he was seated at counsel’s table. When the Goat’s criminal case was first brought the Goat always prayed in Criminal Court at 121 Elm Street. This is the first time I have seen the Goat pray in the high court on Church Street. The lonely Goat of faith.
After the State rested it’s case on Friday morning Willie the Dow moved for Judgment of Acquittal on all counts. The State objected. Willie the Dow’s Motion for Acquittal was DENIED by Judge Jon Alander. Willie knew he was going to lose the motion. Willie had to make the motion in order to protect the Goat’s rights when the Goat appeals his conviction.
The first witness called by Willie the Dow on behalf of the Goat was 92 year old Rebbetzin Gettinger, the wife of Rabbi Gettinger, who is deceased. Gettinger lives in Chicago and couldn’t make the trial so her testimony was provided by a videotape that was taken a few weeks ago in Chicago. Gettinger spoke slowly but clearly in a pleasant manner and joked around a few times.
Willie the Dow has raised the defense that the buildings where Mirlis said he was raped were either occupied by tenants of the Goat or by the Gettingers. Mirlis said he was raped at 777 Elm Street, which is adjacent to the Goat yeshiva. The Goat, the Dow, or some sleezy attorney had Gettinger sign an affidavit on March 1, 2018 saying that she lived at 777 Elm Street. Her testimony was clear that she had no idea what building number she lived at. But Gettinger was clear that she lived across the street from the Yeshiva, and not next door at 777 Elm Street. Willie the Dow had the chutzpah to present the testimony of the Goat’s secretary, Jean Ledbury, following Gettinger, in which Ledbury lied under oath and stated that the Gettinger’s lived next door to the Yeshiva at 777 Elm Street.
Gettinger’s affidavit read to the jury by Willie the Dow stated the following: “Beginning 1994-1995 academic year I taught in Tikvah Girls school. After I joined the faculty Rabbi Gettinger and I lived at 786 Elm Street. Beginning in 2001 academic year we moved across the street to 777 Elm Street, we occupied the apartment until 2002-2003.”
Willie the Dow asked Rabbetzin Gettinger the following questions: Are you the widow of Rabbi Gettinger? Yes. You were associated with the yeshiva of new haven? Yes. What role did you play? The school had two divisions, men and women, I taught in the women’s division. Can you still hear me? Go ahead. Did your husband have a role in the Yeshiva, Rabbi Gettinger? I suppose you would call him the Rosh Yeshiva in Hebrew and in English he was the Professor of Talmud. Where did you reside? Across from the school, I believe it was on Elm street. Was it 777 elm street? I would guess that is so. Is that your best recollection? Yes Where would it be located? right across the street? Did you ever move from across the street to closer to the school? I don’t remember. Did you and your husband reside in new haven for seven days a week? No. What was your arrangement with respect to living in New Haven? My husband had a pulpit in Manhattan and he had duties there, the school arranged to have a limo pick us up from New York and bring us to New Haven and we would spend Monday, Tuesday and Wed night, and I went home Thursday night, unless it was a Jewish holiday and we would stay in NY. Was there any time you resided there for more days? On few occasions we were there on Shabbat and we would stay the entire week, Orthodox Jews don’t travel on the Sabbath. I I spoke with you back in March and you signed something in which you told me that you moved from across the street over to 777 Elm street next to the school? I don’t remember that. Can you read this document, does that refresh your recollection? I remember 777 Elm because I felt comfortable there, I installed a treadmill in there.
Maxine Wilinsky cross examined Rebbetzin Gettinger: I am Maxine Wilinsky, I am the State’s Attorney, do you know who I am? I know you are the opponent of our friend Mr. Dow. Do you know what this is all about? I only know what I was told, I was told to attest to that we lived across the street from the school on all those nights of the week from Monday to Thursday. You lived across the street from the school? That’s right. How many days a week did you live there? We began on Monday and were home on Thursday night. We were on the ground floor. There were three floors. How many floors in 777 Elm Street? Three floors. Which one did you live in? The ground floor. In the last year you were in New Haven, what year was that? I don’t remember, I’m sure you can check that out without me. Did you stay there very single week? As far as I can recall. Do you remember 2002-2003? I don’t remember exactly. Were you there every single week? Yes When did you leave on Thursday? When school was over. It may have differed by about an hour or so. The Rabbi stayed longer than I did. I would say we left around six or seven o’clock. In 2002-2003 which address did you live at? You kept telling me that I lived at 777, that’s what you told me, so I assumed that you were holding the right address. Was the building located across from the school or next to the school in your last year? Directly across from the school.
Maxine Wilensky, from the State cross examined Gettinger on the affidavit she signed in March, 2019: Did you have any conversations with Rabbi Greer about this document? No, not really. Did you get this document from Attorney Dow? Yes. Did you discuss this document with him? No. To the best of your memory the place you lived in 2002-2003 was across the street? Yes. I don’t remember the addresses very well, they have 7s in them. I remember it was directly opposite the school.
Willie the Dow spoke with Gettinger about the affidavit: Did your son in law Dr. Ungar talk to you about the information in this document? No. Was it was prepared in Chicago? It was given to me here in Chicago to sign, I don’t remember who gave it to me, but there are a lot of papers that are put in front of me for one thing or another.
Willie the Dow called Dr. David Mantell to the witness stand after Gettinger’s videotape. Dr Mantell was an elderly man with silvery hair, at three piece suit, and coke bottle glasses. Dr. Mantell was a psychologist who specialized in sexual abuse cases. Dr. Mantell testified that he was not aware of post abuse patterns of behavior and has not found a study that studied this, or an individual case of this kind, where the victim went back to the institution after having left the institution for a period of time. Dr. Mantell testified that he spent 60 hours researching this issue with his assistant. Yet when asked on cross examination about his bill Dr. Mantell testified that he was going to bill the goat $350 an hour for 50 hours of work, close to $20K for one hour of testimony.
Dr Mantell testified that more often the civil suit is filed after the criminal complaint. The Dow has tried to argue that there was something improper about Mirlis filing the criminal complaint after the civil case was already filed. The Dow wants the jury to believe that the criminal case was filed for a financial motive. But the criminal case didn’t get going until after the $15 million verdict. Detective Cuddy testified that there was a 10 month delay between when the criminal case was first reported and when they finally made an arrest. She said the City of New Haven Police Department “dropped the ball.”
I am having a hard time following the Dow’s logic about how Mirlis would benefit by filing the criminal case after the civil case. Sometimes victims don’t file criminal charges against an abuser with money because getting an abuser arrested could cause the the abuser to lose all his money. Mirlis will have even more difficulty collecting from the Goat if he is thrown in jail.
I asked the Dow when I was going to be called to the witness stand, as the Dow named me as his witness. The Dow only named me in order to get me kicked out of the proceedings. Judge Alander denied the Dow’s motion and found that the Dow’s motion was made in “bad faith.” The Dow snapped back at me and said I would be called to testify “after the Rabbi.” The cowardly goat Rabbi will never take the witness stand. The Goat will sit at counsel’s table and chew his cud rather than face the Prosecutor. I guess I will never get to have my day in the spotlight in the Goat case.
Dr. Mantell reviewed police reports and records of the Goat criminal file, as well as the transcript of the testimony of Eli Mirlis from the civil trial. Dr. Mantell can only give his expert opinion about sexual abuse cases in general in order to educate the jury about issues that they may lack knowledge of in the field of child sexual abuse. The Dow tried to sneak in Dr. Mantell’s opinion about the Goat case. The Dow kept asking Mantell whether he thought there were any “red flags” in the Goat file. The State objected. Judge Alander sustained the State’s objection. The Dow kept trying to ask the same questions in different ways. Judge Alander kept shutting down the Dow. The Dow dropped about 500 points.
The Dow made it a point to ask Dr. Mantell if he was an Orthodox Jew. Dr. Mantell stated that he was an Orthodox Jew and was familiar with yeshivas. Dr. Mantell did not look like the Orthodox Jews who have testified for the State. Mantell did not have a giant black velvet yarmulke, an untrimmed beard or a black jacket and white shirt. Dr. Mantell is the ONLY Orthodox Jew in the world who has testified in support of the Goat. The Goat paid Dr. Mantell $350 per hour for 50 hours of work, almost $20K for one hour of testimony.
The Goat’s loyal secretary of 22 years was called to the witness stand after Dr. Mantell. Jean Ledbury, of Winslow Drive, West Haven, testified for the Goat. Ledbury stated that the Gettingers were at 786 Elm Street on the first floor across the street from the Yeshiva when she was there 22 years ago. Ledbury stated that Rabbi Gettinger slipped on the ice and broke his arm and moved to 777 Elm Street in 2003. Ledbury did not explain why Gettinger had to move next door to the Yeshiva just because he broke his arm. Gettinger could still walk across the street to his apartment with a broken arm.
Akiva testified a day earlier that the high school boys were supposed to shovel the walkways around the yeshiva. After they did a good job they went to the Goat’s liquor closet in the basement and were given beer to drink by Avi Hack. Akiva stated that Mirlis had a key to the liquor closet. Years later when the Goat school dropped down to 3 students, the Goat didn’t have anyone shovel the front steps or the walkways around the yeshiva. In the early 2000’s I remember Dr. Ben Avee slip on the ice and break his arm. The Goat didn’t offer Dr. Ben Avee any compensation. The Goat named Dr. Ben Avee as a witness in his criminal case. I doubt Ben Avee will show up.
Ledbury testified that the girls dorm was at 777 Elm St. They were there for years. The girls left in 2004. Mrs Gettinger taught the girls. When the girls left the Gettingers left. The Gettingers were there during the week but left before Shabbos. Shabbos is “our Sunday.” Gettinger said most of the time the Goats office door was open. She said she was in and out of his office all the time. She walked in when the door was open but when it was closed she knocked and walked in. She said if the green chairs were “overflowed” they would go elsewhere to sit near the goats office. The Dow made sure Ledbury mentioned that it was the teachers who determined who sat in the green chairs not the Goat.
The Dow made it a point to ask Ledbury whether she was Jewish. Ledbury said she wasn’t Jewish, she was Catholic. The Dow wanted to crack a joke but held back. The Dow paused and said, “So you aren’t Jewish, you aren’t Orthodox or non-Orthodox.”
The Dow read a list of addresses in the compound where Mirlis says he was raped. Jean Ledbury stated that most of these buildings were occupied in 2002-2003. Ledbury said she has signed leases. She said Harold Hack maintained these records before Ledbury got involved with Edgewood Elm Housing. She got the lease extension documents from a filing cabinet. When someone moved out Harold Hack threw them in the filing cabinet. The jury must be wondering about this Harold Hack guy, as well as Avi Hack, Dov Greer and Ezi Greer, names that have been popping up throughout the trial. None of these cowards will come forward and testify and tell the truth. The State attempted to haul in Avi Hack and Ezi Greer, but they both hid from the marshal so the State gave up chasing them.
Ledbury testified: “Avi Hack was running the school in 2003, he was the assistant dean. When Mirlis first came to the school he was there a couple of days and then he went home, and then he was back, and he went home again, and I finally said, is he here or not here, and at some point he came back and stayed. He would be back to the school after graduating, return to the school, for the holidays, if there was an affair, he would be there for all events. Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur were most important and he would bring his son, so the mothers would be in services and I would babysit his son, at least two years, it would be during the regular holidays.”
Ledbury testified: “I participated in Edgewood Elm housing annual fundraising event that had an ad book. I handled the finances of the ad book. I remember the ad placed by Eli and Shira Mirlis.” The Dow tried to discredit Mirlis for placing an ad in one of the Goat’s stupid ad books after Mirlis graduated. Big deal.
Ledbury testified: “Ezi Greer’s role in the school was property manager. He was in charge of the workers and the contractors and things like that, and he would give me paperwork, show the apartments and I would make up the leases. He was property manager for the non-profits, not Edgewood Elm. He was at the school doing work for the non-profits. Ezi Greer and Eli Mirlis were friends, that was obvious, I saw them together all the time, when Mirlis was not in school.” Akiva testified that he never saw Eli Mirlis in school, Mirlis was always out with the Goat. Ledbury is clearly trying to rebut that testimony with her lies.
Ledbury stated on direct: “I had the student files and put them in the files. They would mail back the standardized tests, and put them in the file. Avi would give me grades. The teachers gave the grades to Avi and he would give to me. I would send off the transcripts, mail off the papers and send copies to the parents.” The Dow is expected to present the testimony of former teacher Dr. DeRosa. Dr. DeRosa is expected to testify that Avi told him to change the grade for Mirlis so that he wouldn’t fail. Ledbury’s testimony must have some connection to Dr DeRosa.
The Dow asked Ledbury: “If I call 1800 yeshiva, who answers the phone?” The Dow is not taking the Goat’s case seriously enough. The Goat must be very unhappy with the Dow’s performance.
The State’s Attorney cross examined Ledbury: He was your boss at yeshiva of New Haven, and then we have Edgewood Elm Housing. What is that? That is a non profit housing corporation. What was your role? Back then very limited. I am administrative assistant. There were three corporations that owned the houses, Edgewood village, FOH, and Yedidei Hagan. The houses are leased to low to middle income people. I make the applications, do credit checks.
During cross examination Ledbury admitted that students were housed in buildings owned by the Goat’s shady non profits, ie., Edgewood Elm, FOH and Yedidei Hagan. Ledbury stated that the Goat “never went into them.” The prosecutor asked, “Did he have access to them?” Ledbury said “Yes.”
Ledbury looked like a nervous wreck on the witness stand. On cross Ledbury said she could not see into the Goat’s office when she was in her office. She said his office was open and she could hear him from her office. The Goat taught at the school, on the second floor. He taught Jewish history, calander, Hashkafa. She said she observed him yelling at students. She said she never observed the Goat yelling at students during prayer services.
The Prosecutor asked whether Ledbury considered the students like family. Ledbury paused and choked up and said she cared about them. Crocodile tears. If Ledbury really cared about the students she would be testifying against the Goat, not in favor of the Goat.
Ledbury stated: “The students were like an extended family. They came back for a bris, wedding, graduations, parties for the community. The community of the school, people in the neighborhood, and non-Orthodox, teachers. My workday ended at the beginning of the Sabbath on a Friday. The rabbi lived on West Park. I saw him walk from the school to his home, I never saw Eli Mirlis escorting him and walking him back to his home.”
I thought Ledbury would submit numerous documents from the giant file she brought with her, but she didn’t. She submitted one lease. I got a picture of Ledbury with her giant file outside the Courthouse, see below.
Ledbury talked about Rafi: “RSA attended the school, he attended one year, I never observed him in the Goat’s office in the school, only if they had to give him something and they left, nobody would be in there being taught by him or having private discussions with him.” Rafi testified that the Goat took him into the Goat office for private tutoring.
Ledbury continued: “Usually the alumni who came back stayed at Eli’s house, the staff’s house, Avi’s house, buildings owned by the non-profits. It was part of their salary.”
Ledbury discussed the real estate leases on cross: “I do not know if those records were accurate, I did not draft them, but they had signatures on them. I don’t live at any of the apartments that were owned by the non-profits.”
Ledbury was asked on cross whether the Goat was looked at as someone who had power at the school, control? She paused, and said “I don’t know what word I want to use but I don’t want to use the word ‘power.'”
We’re marching on, from the Criminal Court at 235 Church Street, New Haven, to the outer edges of the flat earth, we’re marching bitterly, goat cliff after goat cliff we are conquering! Yechi Noodles! Moshiach Now!
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