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Haredi kids entertainer jailed for molestation
By JOANNA PARASZCZUK
10/05/2012
‘David the Mime’ is sentenced for indecently assaulting a 12-year-old boy on several occasions.
 
The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday sentenced a 40-year-old man to seven months in prison, following his conviction on four counts of indecently assaulting a minor under 14.

According to the indictment, filed in January 2010, Rabbi David Bruckner, a haredi children’s entertainer nicknamed “David the Mime,” met the 12-year-old complainant in a Jerusalem synagogue in 2009, where he kissed him.

On another occasion, Bruckner took the boy into a building next to the synagogue, where he indecently assaulted him. After the abuse, Bruckner gave the boy NIS 20 and warned him not to tell anyone, the indictment said.

In January 2010, the indictment said, the complainant was at Bruckner’s home, when Bruckner “took off his shirt and vest, and took of all the complainant’s clothes except his socks.”

Bruckner then indecently assaulted the complainant, the indictment said. “You drive me crazy, I can’t be without you,” the indictment said Bruckner told the child before giving him more money.

Bruckner has denied the charges, including after his conviction, and said he has been harassed by the haredi community because he is an entertainer.

The 40-year-old has starred in hundreds of children’s shows and video recordings – some of which he gave to the complainant.

Following his indictment, Bruckner has been under house arrest, and is allowed out only to attend prayers.

In sentencing Bruckner, Judge Gad Ehrenberg said that he had taken into account the serious nature of the offenses, especially given he had exploited his position as a well-known entertainer in the haredi community.

Ehrenberg said Bruckner violated the trust of a minor, who admired him because of his work.

“No doubt, the offenses to which the complainant was subjected will cause emotional scars for years to come,” the judge said.

As mitigating factors, the judge noted Bruckner’s clean record, the fact that he has begun drug therapy to reduce the danger he poses to children, and the fact that he has been held under full house arrest since he was detained.

The court also handed down a 12-month suspended sentence and ordered Bruckner to pay the complainant NIS 7,500 compensation.

Ehrenberg agreed to stay the prison sentence for 45 days to allow Bruckner to appeal.
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