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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: miriam weiss <miriam344@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 11:08 AM
Subject: Fw: [jewishadvocates] yated "ne'eman" and sexual abuse
 

--- On Wed, 4/22/09, Little Sheep <littlesheep22@yahoo.com> wrote:
 

From: Little Sheep <littlesheep22@yahoo.com>
Subject: [jewishadvocates] yated "ne'eman" and sexual abuse
To: jewishadvocates@yahoogroups.com
Date: Wednesday, April 22, 2009, 10:57 PM
 
the first letter to the editor in the yated this week is a mangled version of one that i sent them. for the record, i DID NOT withhold my name. i signed it little sheep, as i always do. i am posting here my original letter, and their mangled version below it.

my original letter:

I want to commend you for having the courage to come out in the open and discuss a topic as controversial and uncomfortable as abuse and molestation in the frum communities. Please realize that as difficult as it is for you to write about it, imagine how much more difficult it is for someone like me, for whom it is a daily reality.
Nobody is quite sure when my abuse started. We assume that it went on for about five years, before I somehow mustered up the courage to tell my parents that a close relative of mine was continuously abusing me. On a steady basis, my privacy and humanity were being violated in the most horrific ways. It's been ten years since then. Ten years of therapy, of depression, of medication, of guilt. Ten years in which the mere mention of my abuser's name sets off panic attacks. Ten years of nightmares. Ten years of torture.
And the worst part, as Rabbi Lipshitz mentioned, is the shame and the silence. My very own family members know that I have some 'issues' but they think it is just me. What they don't know is that it is not me, but rather a very sick and perverted relative of theirs. What they don't know is that I suffer silently. I suffer from such a complete lack of understanding from everyone around me. I am constantly fielding shidduch calls, but people don't realize that I can't even dream about going on a date with a man. I have memories that none of my peers can understand. I have urges to do things that nobody around me can begin to imagine. I have thoughts, feelings and ideas that would make some of my friends run from me.
I believe that proper support is the first step towards healing, and therefore, I am working {together with rabbanim and therapists} to develop a network of girls from frum homes who have been abused, and are looking to heal together with me. Please email me: littlesheffele@ gmail.com
Thank you for your courage, and for your support, and for giving us this voice,

Little Sheep

what the yated published:

I want to commend you for having the courage to come out in the open and discuss a topic as controversial and uncomfortable as abuse in the frum community. Please realize that as difficult as it is for you to write about it, imagine how much more difficult it is for someone like me, for whom it is a daily reality. On a steady basis, my humanity was being violated in the most horrific ways. It's been ten years since then. ten years of therapy, depression, medication, and guilt. Ten years during which the mere mention of my abusers name set off panic attacks. Ten years of nightmares. Ten years of torture.

And the worst part, as rabbi lipshutz mentioned, is the shame and silence. My very own family members know that I have some "issues", but they think it's just me.

What they don't know is that I suffer silently. I suffer from such a complete lack of understanding from everyone around me. I believe that proper support is the first step towards healing, and therefore, I am working, together with rabbanim and therapists, to develop a network of individuals from frum homes who have been abused and can look to heal together with me.

Thank you for your courage, for your support, and for giving us this voice.

(and despite the fact that i signed it as little sheep, they chose to sign me off as "name withheld")

 
i am asking you, my readers, to email this to everyone you know who reads the yated. i want MY voice heard, not what the yated feels like publishing!

 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: asher lipner <lipnera@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, Jul 19, 2009 at 6:30 AM
Subject: [jewishadvocates] Fwd: Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation
To: jewishadvocates@yahoogroups.com

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <hellawinston@nyc.rr.com>
Date: Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 8:38 AM
Subject: Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation
To: Asher Lipner <lipnera@gmail.com>

Hey, Asher. If you haven't already, I would urge you to take a look at this site. Among other things, it provides useful critiques of the research cited to support claims about the link between homosexuality and child molestation. It also does a good job of defining the terminology used in this field, which I believe is helpful for non-professionals. I think it may worth sending to the group.
Hella

http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html

 


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Vicki Polin <vickipolin@aol.com>
Date: Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 11:53 PM
Subject: [jewishadvocates] Swimming Instructors
To: * TheAwarenessCenter- Yahoo <TheAwarenessCenter@yahoogroups.com>
Cc: Advocates-theawarenesscenter * Advocates-theawarenesscenter <advocates-theawarenesscenter@yahoogroups.com>

I've been asked the following from a researcher. If anyone has information on this please forward it to me.

I am wondering if anyone is aware of the frequency of 4 and 5 year old children receiving swimming lessons make allegations about their male swimming instructors sexually abusing them? I have just heard of two very recently. I have not previously had this.
 


 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Vicki Polin <vickipolin@aol.com>
Date: Fri, Jul 17, 2009 at 11:06 AM
Subject: [jewishadvocates] WARNING: Cantor Stanley Rosenfeld - Parole Violation Hearing Set for July 22
To:

The Awareness Center, Inc.
(the international Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault)
P.O. Box 65273, Baltimore, MD 21209
www.theawarenesscenter.org
443-857-5560
July 17, 2009

RE: Cantor Stanley Rosenfeld (AKA: Stanley Rosenthal) - Parol Violation Hearing
http://theawarenesscenter.blogspot.com/2009/07/cantor-stanley-rosenfeld-aka-stanley.html

Dear Friends,
I received an e-mail this morning regarding Cantor Stanley Rosenfeld (AKA: Stanley Rosenthal). I was informed that Rosenfeld has a parole violation hearing set for this coming Wednesday, July 22, at around 9:30am. This past Wednesday he was deemed mentally competent to be brought in for a hearing, and was transferred to the ACI without bail.

We need everyone's help to get the news media to do a story on this case. Rosenfeld is a seventy-five-year-old convicted sex offender pending new child abuse charges (Child Abuse in the 2nd Degree).


As I'm sure you are aware, the best way to prevent people like Mr. Rosenfeld from offending again is to keep cases like his in the public eye. Please help keep Stanley Rosenfeld from re-offending another time. How many times chances should this convicted sex offender be given?


Stanely Rosenfeld, is the former cantor and spiritual leader at Temple Am David received a 10-year suspended sentence after pleading no contest to molesting a 12-year-old boy he was tutoring.


* Parole Board
Varley Building, 40 Howard Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920
Phone: 401-462-0900
Fax: 401-462-0915
Email: parolebd@doc.ri.gov

 

    *  Parole Board
      Varley Building, 40 Howard Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920
      Phone: 401-462-0900
      Fax: 401-462-0915
      Email: parolebd@doc.ri.gov
 
 
---------------------------
 
State of Rhode Island Department of Corrections
July 17, 2009


INMATE DETAILS FOR CURRENT INCARCERATION
Inmate ID Last Name First Name MI Name Type Race Sex Age Last Residence Security
526852 ROSENFELD STANLEY S Real WHITE Male 75 PROVIDENCE INTAKE SERVICE CNTR


INMATE SENTENCES
Case No. Count Date Imposed Retro Date Sen. Status Term YR-MO-DAY Desc. Good Time Release Date
K2010122A 2 9/13/2002 7/15/2002 EXPIRATION SENTENCE 0-18-0 SECOND DEGREE CHILD MOLESTATION 12/23/2003


INMATE CHARGES
Commit Date Case Number Bail Type Bail Amount Disposition Description Disposition Date
7/15/2009 K2010122A HELD W/O BAIL $0 CHARGE PENDING CHILD ABUSE 2ND DEGREE 7/15/2009
7/15/2002 K2010122A HELD W/O BAIL $0 SENTENCED SECOND DEGREE CHILD MOLESTATION 9/13/2002
11/17/2001 K2010122A HELD W/O BAIL $0 DISCHARGED AT COURT SECOND DEGREE CHILD MOLESTATION 11/19/2001
10/21/2008 K2010122A HELD W/O BAIL $0 RELEASED TO IMH CHILD ABUSE 2ND DEGREE 1/29/2009
 


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Vicki Polin <vickipolin@aol.com>
Date: Sat, Jul 18, 2009 at 10:06 AM
Subject: [jewishadvocates] More on Aaron Vargas
To: * TheAwarenessCenter- Yahoo <TheAwarenessCenter@yahoogroups.com>

To Kill a Predator
Anderson Valley Advertiser - April 22, 2009

There's not much dispute about what happened on Fort Bragg's Farrer Lane the night of February 8the night Aaron Vargas killed Darrell McNeill with a cap and ball .44 caliber black powder revolver.

In this case, almost nobody bothers with the obligatory alleged when describing how Vargas knocked on the door of McNeill's Coachmen Somerset fifth-wheel trailer around 7pm that Sunday; how Vargas told McNeill's wife, Elizabeth, I'm not going to hurt you; how Vargas and McNeill briefly argued; and how Liz heard Vargas say, You're not going to hurt anyone else again just before shooting her husband once in the chest. Vargas then waited 15 minutes to half an hour for Darrell McNeill to die while Liz McNeill waited to call the police.

That most of the facts are agreed upon doesn't make the murder case against Aaron Vargas as clear-cut as one might think. Vargas shot an unarmed mana local businessman, former Boy Scouts leader and Big Brotherand waited for him to die before disassembling his gun and leaving it behind. Despite this, nearly allif not every last oneof the 30 or so people who attended Vargas's preliminary hearing at the Ukiah superior courthouse last Friday were there to support Aaron Vargas and his defense. The 9am court date and hour and a half drive from Fort Bragg made the showing all the more striking. If courtroom B is any indication, in this case it's the killernot the dead manwho has the community's support.

This support has grown as details of Darrell McNeill's past seep through the coastal gossip mill. It's a past, according to the Vargas family and their supporters, that includes the long-term sexual abuse of Aaron Vargas, members of the McNeill family and a number of other local boys and young men, including one former Little Brother who committed suicide in 2006. Vargas's defense attorney, Tom Hudson, says he has the testimony of two people who say they reported the abuse to the Fort Bragg police, but it was never investigated.

The Vargas family, meanwhile, has launched a website,
www.saveaaron.com, to raise funds for Vargas's defense and to petition community support. Mike McNeill, Darrell McNeill's son, is among those who signed. Aaron and I are very close friends, he wrote. We've known each other since childhood. I know how Aaron felt and I believe he sacrificed himself to save others. I stand behind Aaron 100%.


But there are two people whose support Vargas doesn't have: Mendocino County District Attorney Meredith Lintott and the prosecutor on the case, Jill Ravitch. The DA's office is charging Vargas with first-degree murder, false imprisonment and threatening, all of which carry special weightand additional sentenceswhen committed with a gun. All told, Vargas, whos 31, is facing 50 years to life in prison. If the DAs office has its way, he would be in his eighties before he's eligible for parole. Vargas has plead not guilty. The next court date in the case is May 1 in Ukiah.

On April 17, Ravitch called Vargass fiancé, Selena Barnett, to the stand for a series of questions about phone calls between her and Vargas the night that McNeill was killed, focusing on one that Vargas answered while still at the McNeill home on Farrer Lane.

Barnettwho has been with Vargas for five years, sharing a house in Fort Bragg and a seven-month-old daughtersaid Vargas had been upset that day. Hed spent the day with friends, including Mike McNeill, and had been drinking. When he left the couples home that night, Vargas told Barnett he was going for a walk. Instead, he drove off in Barnetts Toyota pickup. Worried, Barnett dialed Vargass cell phone until he finally answered. He told me that hed just shot Darrell, and he was sorry, and he was going to prison, Barnett said.

During Hudsons cross examination, Barnett described how Darrell McNeill stalked Vargas in the weeks leading up to the shootinga characterization the prosecution objected to, but that Barnett was not alone in making. Barnett said McNeill started coming around beginning last August, about the time that Vargas and Barnetts baby was born. McNeill made offers quite a few times to baby-sit for the couples daughter, Barnett saidoffers that were only extended to her, never to Vargas directly. Barnett said McNeill called and made unannounced visits to the couples home more and more frequently in the weeks leading up to February 8, and that she once threatened to call the police if he wouldnt leave. Sometimes, Barnett said, [McNeill] would call all day long, over and over and over.

During Fridays preliminary hearing, Ravitch dismissed testimony about the molestation as self- serving and objected to it as irrelevant. But for McNeill's victims and their families, the abuse is anything but insignificant.
I personally feel that the boy [Aaron Vargas] did the community a favor, said Richard Masingale, whose younger brother, James Specie, killed himself in 2006, four days after confiding that he had been sexually abused by Darrell McNeill from the ages of nine to 14-years-old, while in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

I attribute the loss of my brother's life to that, said Masingale. Until he was nine he was a good kid. But after [the abuse], he took another path. He didn't trust nobody in life...My little brother became addicted to cocaine, methamphetamines. He didn't do well with the pressures of everyday life after that. (Neither Big Brothers Big Sisters or the Boy Scouts were able to confirm McNeill's involvement in their organizations. Neither maintains records that go back to the 1980s. But Dr. Guy Grenny, who has been involved with the Fort Bragg Boy Scout troop for decades, confirms that McNeill was involved sometime before 1986 and members of the McNeill family have said that Darrell McNeill was Species Big Brother.)

McNeill, meanwhile, found other boys to abuse.

His former stepson, John Clemons, said that McNeill sexually abused him from when he was 11 until Clemons got big enough to where I told him if he ever touched me again, I was going to beat the hell out of him. Clemons's mother, Jenny, divorced McNeill when Clemons was about 14. Then, Clemons said, when my brother got big enough, he started using my brother to get to my brother's friends. Me, I just stopped bringing my friends around.

Clemons was among those who attended Friday morning's court date in support of Aaron Vargas. Of his former stepfather, he said, It doesn't bother me a bit that this happened to him, personally. But I don't like that Aaron's in jail. The system messed up. The Fort Bragg Police, the D.A., whoever. None of this would have happened if Darrell would have been locked up.

I have children, I have a son, Clemons said. If he ever would have touched my son, I would've killed [McNeill] myself.

Jenny Kotila, McNeill's second wife and Clemons's mother, said it wasn't until several years after she and McNeill divorced, in the early 1980s, that she found outthrough Clemonss then-wifethat Clemons had been molested. She reported the abuse to the Fort Bragg Police, but she said she was told the statute of limitations for sexual abuse were upthat she would need additional, more recent victims in order to get an arrest.

Kotila said she then went to McNeill's house, rummaged through his things and found sexually explicit photographs of him with another local boy. But, according to Kotila, the FBPD told her the photographs weren't enough to warrant an investigation unless they were coupled with testimonyand she wasn't able to convince the boy to speak to the police. I was doing everything I think I could do, she said, to make the police do something about it. (The Fort Bragg Police, citing privacy laws surrounding child sexual abuse, say they cannot comment on whether such a complaint was ever filed.)

Kotila, Clemons and Masingale are not alone in feeling that the systemand the communityfailed.

I know that many people could have prevented this over 100 years ago, reads one comment on the Save Aaron petition that was signed, simply, Darrell McNeill's Daughter.

How many of you knew, and did nothing, the comment continues. I will never believe that for so many years this was happening and it now all falls on Aaron. I am a survivor of my grandfather's sexual assault, the same man that molested Darrell. His father loved him in a very sick way, he loved all his children in a very sick way. You learn right from wrong from your parents, with what I know Darrell didn't have a chance. Aaron does, don't let him go to prison.

Even Liz McNeill, Darrell McNeill's wife at the time of his death, is supporting Vargas's defense. I've known the kid [Vargas] for years, she said. I love the kid. I do not agree with what he did, by any means, but I don't want to see him go to prison for many, many years. I'd like see him get help and counseling for what happened to him.

Liz and Darrell McNeill were married for 25 years. For 19 of those, the couple ran their furnishing shop, Fort Braggs American Home Store, while Darrell also worked as a Century 21 realtor. Liz McNeill was reluctant to discuss her husband or the details of the case, but she said she doesn't doubt that McNeill sexually abused Aaron Vargas. For the boy to go to that extreme, she said. I don't question it.
 


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Vicki Polin <vickipolin@aol.com>
Date: Sat, Jul 18, 2009 at 8:56 AM
Subject: [jewishadvocates] IMPORTANT ARTICLE: Saving Aaron Vargas - Fort Bragg slaying reveals dark secret: Man accused in shooting says he was molested by victim as child; others come forward with similar charges
To: * TheAwarenessCenter- Yahoo <TheAwarenessCenter@yahoogroups.com>

This a case in which a survivor of child sexual abuse needs help from every survivor group, victim advocate and anyone else who is concerned about child molestation!

The Awareness Center, Inc.
www.theawarenesscenter.org

--------------------------
Fort Bragg slaying reveals dark secret
Man accused in shooting says he was molested by victim as child; others come forward with similar charges
-------------------------------------------------
By LAURA NORTON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT - Sunday, July 5, 2009
http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20090705/NEWS/907051001/1350?Title=Fort-Bragg-slaying-reveals-dark-secret

Also see: http://www.saveaaron.com/
 

Fort Bragg slaying reveals dark secret
Man accused in shooting says he was molested by victim as child; others come forward with similar charges

Liz McNeill of Fort Bragg is supporting Aaron Vargas, who shot and killed her husband, Darrell McNeill. Vargas claims that McNeill's husband sexually abused him for years.
 

The winding mountain road that twists out of Fort Bragg and east into redwood forests was dark and deserted the night last February when Aaron Vargas drove to the home of a man he had known since boyhood.
This was not a social visit.

Vargas, 31, carried an antique black powder revolver, one that requires the loading of primer, wadding and a projectile before cocking the weapon, details that would become important months later.

On this night the gun was made ready to fire. Vargas approached, and now stands accused of pointing the gun and firing a single shot into Darrell McNeill's chest while McNeill's stunned wife, Liz, looked on.

As the 63-year-old man lay dying, according to court testimony, Vargas disassembled the gun, placed it on the kitchen counter, and told McNeill's wife why he was there: The man he shot was his molester.

McNeill, Vargas later told family, first molested him when he was 11 years old. He said he was just one of many boys who fell victim to McNeill, a man long seen in the community as a loyal husband, community volunteer and friendly salesman.

Darrell McNeill settled in Fort Bragg while working for the old Union Lumber Co. He led the local Mormon Church's Boy Scout troop in the 1980s and mentored youth in the Big Brother Big Sister program before that. He sold families their refrigerators and washing machines from the store he established. That he could lead a secret life molesting child after child was unimaginable, yet even his widow now believes the allegations to be true.

She now wonders if she ever really knew the man she was married to for 25 years, the man who fell on hard times when his business went bankrupt and he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

There were no clues, no signs to the abuse, she said.

The men who have come forward to Vargas' attorney to say they, too, were abused, are men Liz McNeill calls her "boys."

Like Vargas, they were kids that hung around the house to play, kids with whom her husband had a good rapport.

"What I learned that night, I didn't know had happened," said Liz McNeill, whose eyewitness account of the shooting likely will be pivotal in the jury trial set to start in September.

She has asked prosecutors to reduce the charges against Vargas.

The community is struggling with questions of justice -- for a homicide victim now branded a child molester, and for an accused killer who claims to be a sexual abuse victim. One is buried, the other in jail.

Prosecutors, however, say vengeance is no excuse for murder and the crime deserves 50 years to life in prison. A pretrial hearing will take place this month.

Supportive words

As the trial date nears, more than 1,000 comments asking the District Attorney's Office not to prosecute the case have been posted on a Web page set up by Vargas' family. Some of the comments are from victims of sexual abuse. Most are from current or former Fort Bragg residents. Many are coming to terms with a dark secret they may have lived with for decades.

Since the shooting, at least eight alleged victims have come forward to Vargas' attorney, Tom Hudson, revealing stories of widespread sexual abuse spanning more than a decade, some of them detailed in written statements.

McNeill "was always hustling ideas that he could use on these young men to continue a relationship and themselves in a position where he could make advances on them," Hudson said. "He was always there to help them out."

The attorney, based in nearby Albion, said the men have described decades of ongoing molestation at McNeill's home and on trips with the former youth leader. They said they were plied with alcohol and drugs, then forced to perform sex acts with McNeill.

None of the alleged victims have come forward to Mendocino County sheriff's authorities, detectives said.

"We've made an overt attempt to locate victims," Sgt. Greg Van Patten said. "No one's come forward. Nothing has been brought forward out in the open."

A single complaint, filed in 2001 with the Fort Bragg Police Department, names McNeill. But City Attorney Mike Gogna said the details were not subject to disclosure, adding, "nothing ever happened with that report."

Not discussed

One Fort Bragg man now in his mid-40s said that he was abused by McNeill, but molestation was something not to be talked about.

"In a small town you save face," said the man, who did not want to be identified. "You keep your mouth shut because it's embarrassing and you don't want anyone to know."

"Aaron may have made a bad choice, but he did what he thought was right," he said.

Despite the lack of legal record, Liz McNeill said she doesn't doubt any of the men's stories and has thrown her support behind the man who killed her husband.

"I have to believe it," she said. "Aaron's an honest kid."

For Mendocino County sheriff's officials and prosecutors, the case against Aaron Vargas is clear cut.

In a preliminary hearing on the case, Mendocino Sheriff's Sgt. Joseph Comer testified that Liz McNeill told him that on the night of Feb. 8 she heard a knock on the door of the couple's trailer. Her husband answered it and she heard Vargas telling her husband "he was never going to hurt anybody again."

Then Darrell McNeill was shot. Once. Fatally.

Not-guilty plea

Vargas, a part-time handyman who was planning a wedding, taking care of his newborn baby and in the midst of buying a house when McNeill was killed, has pleaded not guilty.

Vargas' parents later said in an interview that their son came to their house shortly after McNeill was killed and told them for the first time that he had been sexually molested.

"He left Darrell's house and drove to my parents' house and told my mom the cops are coming for him and he was sorry," Mindy Galliani, Vargas' sister, said.

Vargas was arrested as he walked away from his parents' house that night.

From a police perspective, the facts of the case add up to first-degree murder.

"Aaron Vargas went over there with the intention to kill," Van Patten said.

The revolver used to kill McNeill required the shooter to be deliberate: loading the primer, wadding and projectile, cocking the gun and firing.

"For him to do that, he had some knowledge of what he was about to do," Detective Jason Caudillo said. "It's a cut-and-dried homicide."

Vargas' claim that McNeill sexually abused him has little bearing on the facts of the case, Van Patten said.

"It really doesn't change the circumstances of the case, other than to shed light on the motive," he said.

The motive, Vargas' attorney says, was the bottled-up rage from years of abuse.

Fort Bragg in the 1980s was a town of just over 5,000 people. It was a quiet, idyllic place to raise a family, said Jere Mello, a Fort Bragg resident since 1966 and a current City Council member.

"Fort Bragg was very family oriented and very conservative," Mello said. "Union Lumber was the employer. If you were a graduate, the mill had a job for you. It was a pretty close-knit town."

McNeill employed young men to work in his American Homes Store and befriended his sons' friends, whom he regularly took on out-of-town fishing trips and vacations.

In 1987, 10-year-old Vargas was a happy-go-lucky kid who played Little League and took piano lessons. He was a country boy who could kill a deer and hook a fish. In family pictures, Vargas is frequently seen with his finger linked through the gills of that day's catch.

He grinned wide and crooked. He told jokes and made neighbor Liz McNeill laugh. He was a friend of Darrell McNeill's son, Michael, and a frequent visitor at the McNeills' home next door to his own.

That changed after a fishing trip with McNeill, when Vargas was 11, his mother, Robin Vargas, said.

That's what she says her son told her from his jail cell in Ukiah. Robin Vargas said the family still doesn't know when the sexual abuse ended, or the extent of it.

Psychological abuse

Hudson said it was as much psychological as sexual.

"There was a continuation of harassing Aaron and molesting Aaron," Hudson said. "The older Aaron got, the more sporadic the sexual action became. But on the other hand, the more energetic McNeill was in trying to further contact him."

Selena Barnett, the defendant's fiancee and mother of his 9-month-old daughter, said psychological abuse was ongoing.

For months before the shooting, McNeill harassed her family, she said, dropping by the house at all hours, calling constantly and making repetitive demands to baby-sit Vargas' newborn.

That portrait will likely be part of the trial. It's a far different view of the man his friends remembered.

McNeill "was always a sort of jovial fellow, a nice guy," Mello said.

"I don't know anything about any abuse," he said. "On the other hand, this Vargas fellow took the pistol and drove out Sherwood Road. That's a long ways."

As the case now stands, Vargas faces charges of first-degree murder, false imprisonment of Liz McNeill and preventing her from calling the police. All three counts are felonies and carry special allegations that he committed the crimes using a firearm, which would add time to his sentence.

Assistant District Attorney Beth Norman, who will argue the case with District Attorney Jill Ravitch in September, said she expects the case to evolve as prosecution and defense teams exchange information relating to the death and Vargas' mental state at the time of the shooting.

Hudson said self-defense and battered-woman's syndrome, a psychological stress disorder that has been applied legally to murder cases and resulted in lesser charges against a defendant, could be effective arguments in Vargas' defense.

Lesser charges sought

Anything that reduces the sentence that Vargas is facing would end up pleasing both the Vargas family and the murder victim's widow.

"I'm angry at the situation," Liz McNeill said. "At the man I didn't know, at the man I did know."

Robin Vargas says in death, McNeill simply got off too easy:

"At first I was so frustrated that I couldn't yell at him or beat him. I wanted him resurrected."

And for Selena Barnett, who regularly visits her fiance at the Mendocino County Jail, it should have been McNeill on trial.

"That would have been pretty damn satisfying," she said.

Fort Bragg residents without ties to either family agree justice will be difficult to find.

"On the one hand, you feel badly for what (Vargas) went through," said Josh Richardson, bishop of Fort Bragg's Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which no longer counts McNeill as a member. "On the other hand, we are a nation of laws."

Dan Gillman, assistant pastor at Calvary Chapel with offices next door to McNeill's former storefront, said Vargas "still needs to stand, be accountable for what he's done wrong.

"Our past doesn't absolve us of doing something wrong or right," Gillman said.

Liz McNeill, who describes herself as still "numb" and "doubly shocked" by her husband's murder, is grasping for something to hang onto.

"I can understand why he did what he did," she said. "I don't condone the killing, but I can understand it."

You can reach Staff Writer Laura Norton at 521-5220

or laura.norton@pressdemocrat.com.
 



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: asher lipner <lipnera@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Jul 16, 2009 at 8:15 PM
Subject: Important Must Read
To: "Asher Lipner, Ph.D." <lipnera@gmail.com>

This article was written by Michael Lesher who is one of the most veteran and accomplished advocates for victims of sexual abuse in the frum community. I must say that it resonated with me personally, because I was just as hurt and angry by Rabbi Rosenblum's attempt to continue to deny sexual abuse in the frum community. I was shocked that the Jerusalem Post published his lies and self serving reactionary defensive claim that those who point out that there is sexual abuse in the community are "anti Charedi". If only Charedi spokespeople like Rosenblum, Avi Shafran and Marvin Shick would keep quiet, we could all get our jobs done much easier. Yasher Koach Michael. If anyone has an "in" with the Jewish Star, the Jewish Week or the Jerusalem Post, or even Vosizneias, this rebuttal to Rabbi Rosenblum deserves a wider readership.

http://theunorthodoxjew.blogspot.com/2009/07/but-greatest-evil-of-rosenblums-column.html
 


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: abe silver <abe250@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, Jul 18, 2009 at 7:37 PM
Subject: Drama In The Yeshiva World - This is how the 3 bochurim got arrested in Japan for taking drugs (innocently). - VIDEO -
To:

Drama In The Yeshiva World
This is how the 3 bochurim got arrested in Japan for taking drugs (innocently). - VIDEO -

http://www.mahnishmah.com/system/scripts/modules/admin/pages/show_page.cgi?p=7377
 



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <email@rabbihorowitz.com>
Date: Fri, Jul 17, 2009 at 2:35 PM
Subject: Rabbi Horowitz - Collective Consequences
To: nr5155@gmail.com

 

Collective Consequences
by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz
No Internet? Can't read HTML? See below.

Newest Article
Collective Consequences
by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Charedi Knesset Members broke their deafening silence on the out-of-control violence in Eretz Yisroel to condemn Mayor Nir Barkat for his "Collective Punishment" of the charedi community when Mr. Barkat announced that he is suspending city services to Meah Shearim and Geulah, after a sanitation worker was evacuated by police and taken to the hospital having been injured in a demonstration, and following the vandalism of a city welfare office.

I know I was not asked for my input, but may I humbly suggest that in future press releases, the charedi Knesset Members consider changing the words "Collective Punishment" to "Collective Consequences?"

Why? Because there is a subtle but profound difference between a punishment and a consequence -- one that has powerful ramifications for parents and educators. A punishment is one that is punitive in nature and is not logically connected to the misdeed. An example would be if parents would take a favorite toy away from their son because he hit his sister.

On the other hand, if a parent sends a child to his room for hitting his sister and explains that the living room is a public area and he forfeits his right to use those areas if he hurts others there; that is a consequence. There is a logical thread connecting the crime and punishment. (Note to parents: Do your best to give consequences to your children as opposed to punishments, as they are an educational tool and do not breed resentment.)

I am suggesting that the Knesset
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by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz


I hardly ever sleep on airplanes. So after an eleven-hour Thursday night flight to Eretz Yisroel, I arrived Friday noontime, jet lagged and exhausted.

I came to spend Shabbos with my daughter, who is studying in a seminary in Yerushalayim. Together we walked through the winding streets of the Jewish Quarter and enjoyed a beautiful, spiritual Kabbolas Shabbos at the Kosel. After the conclusion of the tefilos, we
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Vicki Polin <vickipolin@aol.com>
Date: Sat, Jul 18, 2009 at 10:27 AM
Subject: [jewishadvocates] CALL TO ACTION: Alleged Sex Offender Rabbi Jack Sparks is now working in a new synagogue
To: * TheAwarenessCenter- Yahoo <TheAwarenessCenter@yahoogroups.com>
 
CALL TO ACTION: Alleged Sex Offender Rabbi Jack Sparks is now working in a new synagogue

 
 Rabbi Jack Sparks

 
The Awareness Center was just informed that Rabbi Jack Sparks is now "the rabbi" of Temple Hativkah - Homestead Jewish Center in Homestead, Florida.  The Awareness Center is asking everyone to call and write to the Board of Directors of the synagogue and ask them what safety plan they have in place to protect their children from this alleged sexual predator.  Be sure to let them know that if another child is molested after being warned that they can be held responsible in a court of law.
 
Rabbi Jack Sparks was arrested on May 12, 2008 on charges of child endangerment of a fourteen-year-old boy. Sparks took the boy on a shopping trip to the Fairfield News and Tobacco store on New London Road in Newark and encouraged the boy to pick out a magazine in the "back room" where pornographic magazines are kept. The boy declined, picking out a gaming magazine instead.
 
Dr. Rabbi Jack L. Sparks, holds a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Boston University, as well as graduate and undergraduate degrees in curriculum and instruction, Jewish studies, counseling psychology and elementary education. He has been an educator in Jewish Private Schools for 25 years in Boston, MA; New York City, NY; Miami, FL; Austin, TX and Talleyville, Delaware.

Unfortunately it is not uncommon for an individual who molest children to work in the education field and also to move around from state to state. There is a fear that Rabbi Sparks could have left a trail of victims along the way.
 
If you or anyone you know was abused by Rabbi Jack L. Sparks please contact Newark Police Department or The Awareness Center.

CONTACT
 
Temple Hatikvah/Homestead Jewish Center
183 NE 8th Street Homestead FL 33030 (also known as Campbell Drive or SW 312th St)

 Mailing address:
PO Box 924250 Homestead FL 33092-4250
Phone: 305-248-5724 ~  Fax: 305-258-4645
 
Officers
President:  Mitch Rabin    lcnmitch@yahoo.com  
 
1st Vice President:  Carol Silver  silv5622@bellsouth.net 
 
2nd Vice President:  Sandy Liebowitz    sandellini@aol.com   
 
Treasurer:  Judy Creque    pps2585670@bellsouth.net
 
Recording Secretary:   OPEN
 
Corresponding Secretary:  Carole-Ann Santelli    missca44@bellsouth.net
 
Director of Education / Cantorial Soloist: Eilat Schmalbach eeschmalbach@bellsouth.net
 
Immediate Past President: Justin Enfinger jenfin@earthlink.net
 Board of Directors
 
 Sue Nulman shnkatz@bellsouth.net
 
David Feinberg k4idn@aol.com
 
Susan Burakoff-Hopkins shopkins33031@yahoo.com
 
Trustees
Darryl Silver
Larry Creque lazman55@bellsouth.net