Shomrim Leader Accused of Raping Teen Caught on Recorded Call with Victim: DA
By Jennifer Bain, Larry Celona and Laura Italiano
New York Post
May 11, 2018
The politically connected Shomrim leader accused of repeatedly raping a 15-year-old girl implicated himself in a recorded phone call with his victim, prosecutors revealed Friday.
Politically connected Shomrim leader charged with raping 15-year-old girl
Jacob “Yanky” Daskal, 59, who helped found the neighborhood Boro Park Shomrim patrol group some 30 years ago, knew his victim prior to the alleged attacks, prosecutors said.
The major campaign donor pleaded not guilty at his Friday arraignment in Brooklyn Supreme Court and quickly posted $75,000 bond.
At the brief hearing, prosecutors said they set up and recorded a phone call earlier this week between Daskal and the young girl he is accused of sexually abusing in the Borough Park home he shares with his wife and family.
“There was a controlled phone call,” said Assistant District Attorney Kevin O’Donnell.
O’Donnell did not describe the call or elaborate on Daskal’s relationship with the girl, except to say “the parties are known to each other.”
The prosecutor also did not say how the shocking rape allegations surfaced. But a law enforcement source told The Post Friday that the girl had made the allegations to a therapist, who alerted police.
A grand jury has indicted Daskal on two felony charges of rape in the third degree for allegedly having sex with a victim under the age of 17.
Those charges alone carry a mandatory minimum sentence of one to four years in prison.
He is additionally facing four counts of criminal sexual act in the third degree, six counts of sexual misconduct, six counts of sexual abuse in the third degree and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
According to the indictment, the sex offenses occurred at Daskal’s 46th Street home between August and October 2017.
Daskal was handcuffed and remained silent, with head bowed, as his lawyer, Evan Lipton, entered his plea. Daskal looked disheveled as he stood before the judge after a night in custody. His black suit was rumpled and his yarmulke was slightly askew.
He was asked by Justice Deborah Dowling if he understood that he cannot obtain a new passport while he remains free on bail.
“Understand,” he answered in a clear, strong voice.
The prosecutor also said that the DA’s Office is ready for trial.
The judge set Daskal’s next court date for June 28.
“Will I get my phones back?” Daskal could be heard asking his lawyer as he left court.
“No,” Lipton answered. “Your phones have been seized.”
Six women and two men sat together at the arraignment, leaving with Daskal.
Detectives from the NYPD Crime Scene Unit spent much of the afternoon searching Daskal’s home and electronics for incriminating communications, photos and videos.
“He is a good man; surely this is not true!” said a shocked neighbor, an older man.
Daskal for years donated thousands of dollars to local political campaigns, including those of ex-state Sen. Malcolm Smith, Sen. Simcha Felder and retiring Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who on Friday told The Post, “Everybody is in shock and disbelief.”
Sources also say Daskal’s deep connections with Shomrim and the local 66th Precinct made him a sometimes intimidating neighborhood figure.
Shomrim has been embroiled in an NYPD gun-permit-fixing scandal. Daskal was not charged, but another Shomrim leader, businessman Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein, is serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence for bribing cops $1,000 for permits he would then resell for $18,000 each.