Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Sentencing of Brooklyn Hasidic men on trial for beating gay black man delayed due to questionable community service
The sentencing of two Brooklyn Hasidic men who admitted to participating in the vicious beating of a gay black man was put on hold Tuesday after they chose a community service organization that services Jewish children, not a culturally diverse community as recommended.
Pinchas Braver and Abraham Winkler pleaded guilty in May to unlawful imprisonment in connection with where Taj Patterson was beaten on a Williamsburg street in December 2013.
As a condition of the plea bargain, the prosecutor recommended that their 150 hours of community service be served in a "culturally diverse neighborhood outside of where this unlawful imprisonment took place."
Patterson, 25, suffered serious injuries that left him blind in the right eye.
Braver, 22, and Winkler, 42, will also receive three years probation and pay $1400 in restitution.
Their attorneys advised Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun during a sidebar conference on Tuesday that their clients want to participate with Chai Lifeline for their community service.
According to the organization's website, they offer a number of services for Jewish children with life threatening illness.
"The people have concerns with the organization, under the plea the community service was to be in a culturally diverse atmosphere," the judge said after the parties took a brief break to quickly research the organization.
The sentence was delayed for another week for prosecutors to further investigate Chai Lifeline.
Prior to the pair taking a plea, prosecutors dismissed charges against Aharon Hollender and Joseph Fried when the sole witness recanted.
Meanwhile, the last of the five alleged assailants Mayer Herskovic, will go forward with trial on Aug. 23.
If convicted, Herskovic faces up to 25 years in prison for gang assault.
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