Rabbi Glick: His solicitor speaks

March 4, 2014 by Henry Benjamin
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Bill Doogue  is Rabbi Avrohom Glick’s solicitor. He talks to J-Wire following the announcement that Victoria Police are not proceeding with their investigation on allegations made against Rabbi Glick of sexual abuse on a student at Melbourne Yeshiva without foundation.

From Bill Doogue:

We do not name our clients normally. The aim is to provide them with some level of anonymity and to respect their privacy. Often they have been through the judicial system and whether convicted or acquitted, they should be given the opportunity to move on with their lives. The last thing you want is to be ego-surfing (ie looking yourself up on google) or for someone else to be looking you up and a lawyer’s website pops up.

Rabbi Avrahom Glick

Rabbi Avrohom Glick

But in this case we have asked our now former client if we can speak about him and he has agreed.

His name is Rabbi Avrohom Glick. He is head of religious studies at the Melbourne Yeshivah College. He is an important figure in his community internationally.

He has been besmirched in the media, scandalously attacked on the internet. Damned by much of the public who know him not.

No one I met who actually knows him thought there was a skerrick of truth in the allegation.

What had to occur, and did, was that the nonsense of this allegation was exposed.

The police involved were thorough and very professional. They were receptive to us providing them with a lot of material. All of which kept confirming the nonsense of this claim. In some cases you decide that the evidence is so clear that you suspend an adversarial approach and make sure that the investigators have access to everything and all of your witnesses. To be fair to the Police (not my strong point) they are generally receptive to pre-charging material being provided. Our experience is that pre-charging and pre-interview is one point at which solicitors can have a huge impact.

The press trumpeted the allegations and then once they were withdrawn wrote the allegations out again. Surely at that point they should have shown more decency?

If something is so weak it does not even get to the point of a charge why repeat it?

This isn’t even a case where it is going to Court,  it is just a rubbish allegation that has defamed a decent member of our wider community of Australians.

When was the last time pre-charging in a historic sex case a person had so much publicity? Why was that the case? Because he is the head of Jewish Studies at Yeshivah? Because he is an internationally known and respected Rabbi?

It all leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

How is it that the reporters do not explain why the allegation did not get to the point of charging?

Here is just the start of what they should have told everyone:

1 the allegation was more than 30 years old

2 it was said to have taken place on the altar (bimah) in the middle of the synagogue

3. The synagogue has a school attached to it. At that stage the wall between the two spaces was a concertina wall

4.  There was a busy admin office downstairs metres from one entrance.

5.  There were SIX separate unlocked entrances to the Synagogue

6. The allegation  was that it occurred at the busiest part of the day when dozens of parents and 100s of kids were in the vicinity, any one of whom could have walked into the Synagogue.

7. The second floor of the synagogue is the Women’s part and because of screens you can never tell if someone is there or not.

8. The synagogue was a thoroughfare to get between a number of admin and school areas

So why wasn’t this published by those so happy to damn him?

Picture this – a person makes an allegation that a sexual assault occurred on a busy Friday in the middle of Bourke Street mall (with no attempt at hiding it) and not one of the thousands there noticed it or called the Police. Would you do more than snort and say “what a load of rubbish”?

It leaves me with one final question. How, in reality, does a person ever recover their reputation from this sort of outrageous attack?

Bill Doogue

Partner

Doogue, O’Brien, George…Criminal Lawyers

Comments

4 Responses to “Rabbi Glick: His solicitor speaks”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    David,
    If you reread my comments you will see that I have very carefully and clearly expressed the fact that I have no idea of the truth of Rabbi Glick’s situation, nor am I making a judgement, nor am I assuming guilt until proved innocent (although that is within the legal system of some countries, France for instance). I well know that mud sticks, and I well know the irresponsibility of the media and the tendency of people to want to believe the worst, to enjoy gossip and sensationalist situations. I endorse none of that and I certainly don’t get involved in it.
    My comments seek to take apart the remarkably general comments of Rabbi Glick’s solicitor, Bill Doogue. The assumptions made by Mr Doogue on the strength of what he has to say are farcical. That’s where my interest lies as far as this J-Wire article is concerned. I am also extremely concerned that anyone would think an act committed thirty years ago is of no consequence (if indeed that’s what Doogue’s single line on the matter is meant to convey), because as I have already said, that would imply we shouldn’t be concerned with exposing Nazis who might have escaped the justice system.
    People such as Mr Waks might indeed become obsessive about their goal, or develop a kind of witchhunt mentality. If your imagination is good, and you are capable of ‘walking in another’s shoes’, you might understand why this is. Yes, he must make every attempt to rein himself in, distance himself in order not to project what he thinks is the case on to something that is not actually the case. However, it is a complex situation.

  2. David says:

    List Nagir’s post demonstrates one thing to me – that mud sticks.

    If I reported to the police that I had been raped 30 years ago by Liat – or her parent if she was not old nough to have done it- and if that allegation were widely publicized, but totally false, how could the accused ever demonstrate their innocence? Liat seems to suggest that a person is guilty until proved innocent.

    One of the guilty parties here is Waks. Another is the witch hunt mentality he represents. The press is the ever present accomplice to character assassination.

  3. David says:

    List Nagir’s post demonstrates one thing to me – that mud sticks.

    If I reported to the police that I had been raped 30 years ago by Liat – or her parent if she was not old nough to have done it- and if that allegation were widely publicized, but totally false, how could the accused ever demonstrate their innocence? Liat seems to suggest that a person is guilty until proved innocent.

    One of the guilty parties here is Waks. Another is the witch hunt mentality he represents. The press is the ever present accomplice to character assassination.

  4. Liat Nagar says:

    Again, a huge thumping silence from subscribers in relation to anything concerning a Rabbi and possible wrong-doing.

    I have absolutely no idea of the truth of the situation discussed, but am interested to comment on a couple of the lawyer’s observations and assumptions related to those observations:

    1. Why does it matter if the allegation is 30 years old? What is the significance of that comment – that therefore it doesn’t matter? If that were the case as a premise we could forget about the finding and exposing of Nazi war criminals or past sexual abuse acts, or anything else for that matter.

    2. The middle of a synagogue is hardly as busy as the Bourke Street Mall on a Friday, and a truly poor analogy to make.

    3. If the busiest part of the day referred to in relation to the synagogue was when parents were picking up their children from the attached school, it’s highly likely they’d be concentrating on going home rather than entering the synagogue. ( Mr. Doogue doesn’t mention the actual time of day.)

    4. The reason for the Victoria Police dropping their investigation into the allegations against Rabbi Glick is obviously because it was thought there was not enough, or no, evidence to support the allegations. This in itself is not a sign of innocence or guilt.

    We, as public, have no right to make a judgement on innocence or guilt, most especially by way of sensationalist media reportage, and it’s true that the publicity the situation attracted would be principally because of Rabbi Glick’s position and the fact that he is a Rabbi. They’re out to get him and how to salvage his reputation after what has been written and aired is a vexed question, because most probably things will never be the same for him again. However, just as we can’t make firm judgements on what we have before us here,and shouldn’t, neither can ‘people who know’ Rabbi Glick do so. Mr Doogue says, “No one I actually met who knows him thought there was a skerrick of truth in the allegation.” We would not need courts of law or juries if we were happy to know the truth of a matter through the opinions of people who know us. How well can you ever really know another, even members of your own family? How often are people shocked by knowledge revealed about people they thought they knew well, thought they could trust implicitly? I don’t say this to imply negative misgivings about Rabbi Glick; I say it as a response to what as a general observation by a solicitor is appallingly lacking when applied to the reality of human affairs and psychology.

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