Monday, June 17, 2013
I talked with Brooklyn prosecutors about the case against Mr. Kellner. By way of throat-clearing, the prosecutor Nicholas J. Batsidis demanded to know if I’d read the indictment. As it was five pages long and contained little detail, I allowed that I had managed to stumble through.
He pointed to the key evidence, a secretly taped, rambling and overwrought conversation between Mr. Kellner and Meyer Lebovits, the cantor’s son. Mr. Kellner is also accused of paying witnesses to testify against Mr. Lebovits. “When you have an audiotape where Kellner is warning him that he’s going to bring other victims, it speaks for itself,” Mr. Batsidis said.
"That explanation sounds better than the tape itself. The transcript reveals a conversation soaked in ambiguity, and rendered in overwrought language. It depicts Mr. Kellner as a tortured father trying to find justice. The younger Mr. Lebovits at times seems to accept that his father committed some acts of abuse. Hella Winston of The Jewish Week has profitably plowed the fields of this case, exposing its many weaknesses. Ms. Winston notes that, far from persuading fake witnesses to testify, Mr. Kellner worked closely with a rabbinical court in Monsey, and with a Brooklyn assemblyman, each of whom helped him find alleged victims of Mr. Lebovits."
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