#Brooklyn

Man Connected To A Hasidic Gang Attack Against A Gay Black Brooklyner Walks Free

The verdict for the final man attached to a Hasidic gang attack against a gay man has been overturned because of changing laws concerning forensics and lack of other evidence.

On December 1, 2013, Taj Patterson, then 22, was walking home through the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn after leaving a party and separating from his friends.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, Patterson was then attacked by a group of men. Patterson was bruised and bloodied by the end of the attack. One man even shoved his thumb up Patterson’s eye and permanently blinded him.

Months later, five Hasidic Jewish men, Abraham Winkler, 43; Aharon Hollander, 32; Joseph Fried, 29; and Pinchas Braver, 23, were connected to the crime. They were then charged with gang assault, assault, and unlawful imprisonment.

After years of court battles, four of the five men were let off relatively easy. Two of the men pleaded guilty to lesser charges, and the other two had their charges completely dropped.

Then in 2017, Mayer Herskovic went to trial.

During the court hearings, Patterson admitted that he never saw the faces of his attackers besides a man whom Patterson called the “ringleader.”

Despite that, Herskovic was sentenced to four years in prison by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun after his DNA was found on Patterson’s sneaker.

Now according to the New York Times, the Second Judicial Department Appellate Division has overturned that conviction because Patterson couldn’t identify his attackers and the DNA evidence was “less than convincing”

“The OCME criminologist testifying at the trial admitted that in developing high-sensitivity testing, OCME ‘tweaked the protocols’ of DNA testing. Based on the high-sensitivity testing, OCME found that the mixture was indicative of a two-person mixture,” the four judges wrote.

“Mayer is overjoyed,” Herskovic’s lawyer, Donna Aldea, said. “The decision means that, for all intents and purposes, he is innocent.”

Now it seems unlikely that anyone will ever serve long-term prison time for the attack on Patterson. That said, Patterson’s lawyer, Andrew Stoll, filed a lawsuit two years ago against the NYPD and the city for giving his attackers “favorable and preferential treatment.”

“Our civil suit continues against the city for the ‘get out of jail free’ cards it hands out to the ultra-Orthodox communities in Brooklyn,” said Stoll.

That lawsuit is still pending.

h/t: the Brooklyn Eagle, The New York Times

Police Looking For Attacker In Alleged Brooklyn Hate Crime

Two men were viciously attacked early Sunday morning as they left a gay bar in Brooklyn, New York.

According to the local ABC affiliate, the two men - one 29-years-old, the other 34-years-old - had just left the Metropolitan Bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, when a man approaching them called out with a homophobic slur.

The incident quickly escalated with the attacker punching the 34-year-old in the face, and throwing the 29-year-old against a tree. Both were knocked unconscious.

The good news is a bystander managed to snap a fairly clear photo of the attacker as he ran away.

One of the victims suffered a broken finger, while the other had to be treated for a fractured shoulder.

Speaking to ABC7, Aidan Pongrice, a neighbor in the area, urged people to take action.

“Not just to find and arrest this one person, we need people to take action to go out and vote and make sure that we don't have people and leaders in this country that actively dog whistle against my very existence," said Pongrice.

The New York Police Department are now asking anyone with any information about the incident or identifying the attacker in question to contact the NYPD Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-8477.

Watch the report below from ABC7.

 

 

 

(h/t ABC7)

Brooklyn's Sex Expo Attracts Several Notable LGBTQ Speakers and Guests

Live around the New York City area and wondering what to do this weekend? Brooklyn's Sex Expo, the biggest sex life expo in America, will be returning to to the Brooklyn Expo Center (Williamsburg) on September 22nd and the 23rd.

This event is essentially touted as an open space where sex and intimacy are talked about with style, flair, and not a single ounce of judgment. This includes topics like enhancing your pleasure, the art of the blowjob, the science behind the orgasm, and all you need to know about butt plugs. Yay!

There's also a major LGBTQ+ focus during the sex expo, including vibrators for men and the beauty and essence behind dick pictures. Take a look at some of the presenters:


INNER HOE UPRISING

Inner Hoe Uprising is a sex, love, and dating podcast helmed by four black NYC based feminists. The show features strong themes related to queer identities, trans identities, self care, mental health, sex positivity, and social justice. Though dealing with such heavy topics, Inner Hoe Uprising is a light hearted show with a strong comedic element. They can be found on Apple or anywhere one might find podcasts.


HOT OCTOPUSS

Launched in September 2013, PULSE, a.k.a. the world’s first Guybrator™, was different than any other toy that had come before it. By creating a toy based on medical technology that looked more like a luxury piece of industrial design than a sex toy, Hot Octopuss changed the way sex toys were perceived, winning multiple awards in the process.



B-VIBE

b-Vibe™ is a premium, certified body-safe collection of healthy anal sex products founded by Certified Sex Expert, Alicia Sinclair. b-Vibe™’s high-end design is combined with engaging branding and marketing, which is focused on conveying sex positive education with a fun, friendly approach. They stand behind their products with easy to understand, hassle-free warranties.


CHATURBATE

Chaturbate is the premier webcam portal and leading technology provider, offering adult entertainment fans around the world access to popular adult stars and models via interactive video chat. The site is a leader in providing all Chaturbaters with state-of-the-art video technology, protected by secure and discreet connections.


DICTURE

DICTURE and it's exactly what it sounds like. Dick Pictures. An artistic take on an otherwise alluring modern dating tactic. DICTURE has a complete adult novelty merchandise line which includes a series of gag gifts as well as bachelorette party items.


If you are interested in attending, find more information about the event here.

Diocese Of Brooklyn Will Pay $27.5 Million To 4 Survivors Of Sex Abuse

The New York Times reports that the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn has agreed to pay $27.5 million to four men who were sexually abused by a religion teacher when they were children.

According to the settlement, each of the men will receive $6.8 million, making this one of the highest figures paid by the Catholic Church to survivors of sexual abuse.

According to New York Law Journal, Angelo Serrano, a volunteer and director of religious studies at St. Lucy-St. Patrick’s, abused the plaintiffs between 2003 and 2009 when they were between the ages of 8 and 12 years old.

Serrano pleaded guilty in 2011 and is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence.

This comes in the aftermath of a stunning grand jury report in Pennsylvania which found more than 1,000 children had been the targets of sexual misconduct by hundreds of priests over decades.

Sparked in part by that grand jury report, the New York State Attorney General announced two weeks ago a statewide civil investigation into sex abuse allegations within the Catholic Church and its possible cover-up by church leaders.

The New York AG has reportedly issued subpoenas to every Catholic diocese in the state.

(h/t New York Times)

A New York City Math Teacher Was Arrested For Having Sex With A Middle School Boy

A Brooklyn middle school teacher was arrested for having sex with a male student.

Just a few weeks ago, Andre Braddy, 34, was a popular and well-respected math and advanced algebra teacher at Lenox Academy, PS 235.

Then, a student told his mother he’d had sex with the teacher, which led to the mother contacting the police. That led to the police setting up a monitored call between the teacher and student, which led to Braddy’s arrest.

Police say that Braddy had oral and anal sex with the student three times between March 19 and April 20. All of these encounters happened on the school premises in either a classroom or in a bathroom.

Plus, police found sexually charged texts and pictures shared between the two. In one text, Braddy apologized for taking the boy’s virginity and asked if he liked the photos Braddy sent.

“He was really important to us,” 14-year-old Lenox Academy student Amari Aaron, told The New York Times. “It’s devastating to hear he’d do something like this. Nobody thought he’d be capable.”

Other people have also noted how Braddy seemed like a remarkable man before the news came out. For instance, his lawyer said he was a “remarkable success story.”

“His father's been in and out of jail. He attended CUNY where he received a full scholarship,” Stoll told the New York Daily News. “He works seven days a week. On Sundays he teaches math and calculus at Medgar Evers College.”

Stoll said Braddy lives with his mom and his “severely disabled, autistic sister, who he takes care of.”

Unfortunately, all of that good has been overturned by the revelation that Braddy was having sexual relations with one of his students.

Braddy is now being charged with three counts each of engaging in criminal sexual acts and sexual misconduct, four counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and a count of second-degree criminal sexual acts.

The former teacher was held on $75,000 bond or $25,000 case bail, placed in protective custody and on suicide watch.

If convicted, Braddy could be facing up to 7 years in prison. He’s expected to be back in court on May 1.