If you’re curious about what a terrible lede for a story about the sexual abuse of minors might be, look no further than the New York Post‘s recent feature about Andrew Goodman, who has been charged with abusing two Orthodox boys in Flatbush.
He looks like a movie star, but many members of Brooklyn’s Jewish community believe he is a monster.
The first thing you want to establish in a story about sexual abuse, of course, is the attractiveness of the abuser.
Awful lede aside, the story is actually important and well reported, an examination of sexual abuse in the Orthodox community, where it often goes unreported to secular authorities because of pressure from conservative rabbis. But thanks to a three-year-old program put into place by the district attorney’s office, 85 suspects have been arrested for sex crimes in the Orthodox community. Unfortunately, conviction rates are not so good:
Of the 38 cases closed so far, 14 perps got jail time, ranging from a month to 10-to-20 years for crimes that included sex abuse, attempted kidnapping, and sodomy… The other 24 have walked free. They got probation, pleaded to minor charges, or saw their cases dismissed—often because victims or their parents backed out under community pressure.