Yaakov Kramer was arrested for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old, and it should have been prevented

From a Facebook post by Shana Aaronson, COO of JCW.

Last week, the spokesperson for Jerusalem police announced the arrest of a 22-year-old man from Bet Shemesh, accused of numerous counts of sexual assault of a 14-year-old boy. 

Last week, the spokesperson for Jerusalem police announced the arrest of a 22-year-old man from Bet Shemesh, accused of numerous counts of sexual assault of a 14-year-old boy. 

This would be terrible news on its own, but it is made 100 x worse by the multitude of details which will likely never be acknowledged by the police or the community.

This 22-year-old man is known by many in Ramat Bet Shemesh because about 5 years ago, he was arrested for sexually abusing a number of little boys in Ramat Bet Shemesh A. He served time as a juvenile, and was released back into the community of Bet Shemesh. 

Shortly after he was released, I started getting The Phone Calls. Numerous community members calling to share that he’s hanging out with kids, a lot, and they are very concerned. 

I encouraged them strongly to warn the parents. But, you know, it’s awkward. No one ever wants to be the killjoy calling up a neighbor to share the lashon hara that the kindly young man who’s taken their kid under his wing is a convicted child molester. 

Then the next wave of phone calls started. He’s volunteering at local organizations and using his status there to pick up kids. 

And then, bizarrely, he called me. He wanted to volunteer for JCW. He said he loves working with kids, so I asked him for references. He described the vulnerable children in his neighborhood who he has taken under his wing. He asked that JCW let him mentor children who had been sexually abused who were going through a hard time.

And so my next call was to the police. I called. I called again. I went in and filed a report. I gave them every detail I could. They said they would look into it. They did not.

The calls from the community continued. 

He’s working in Jerusalem, he keeps picking up really young kids and taking them out alone and giving them presents. 

I told all the callers to go to the police. They were too uncomfortable to do so. What if anyone finds out it’s them who called? So awkward.

So I went back to the police. And I went back to the police again.

And they closed the case because all I could give them was third-hand information.

And the phone calls from the community continued.“He’s taking kids out alone during Friday night davening”. “The rabbi says we should let him because he’s an orphan and we feel sorry for him” (He is. But I am not sure why that matters here.) “He is always picking up kids and taking them out alone on little trips” “He buys certain kids presents.” “I’ve seen him alone with kids, the same kids every time. It’s really bad” “He hangs out with kids whose parents are really busy”.

I asked them to please tell the kids parents. I begged them to go to the police to report it.

But it’s awkward. 

No one wants to be the killjoy.

And so now, Yaakov Kramer has been arrested and accused of repeatedly molesting and sodomizing a 14-year-old, who, the police describe, he would take out alone on little trips. The police also “suspect he may have done the same to numerous other children” that he was spending time alone with.

It’s been about 2 years now that I started getting countless calls about Kramer, and reporting him to the police. In all that time it seems a community’s worth of people has been watching while a child molester strategically groom and prey on his victims.

But after all, nobody likes to be a killjoy.

**I initially wrote this last week and held off posting it because I was very angry and I try not to post when I’m angry. But yesterday I was informed that it seems the police have two additional victims who have come forward, and then yesterday evening I got two calls about another young alleged predator who is likewise being protected in Bet Shemesh. Maybe the situation calls for a little more anger. 

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