Rabbi Jonathan Skolnick had only been working for 14 months at the Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy as the associate principal before the Feds busted down his door, after sundown on a Friday night, marking the Sabbath, and arrested him and charged him with five counts of enticement of minors, sexual exploitation of minors, child pornography and extortion. Skolnick has been locked up in MCC and MDC Federal prison in Brooklyn for the last three years before he recently pleaded guilty and is set to be sentenced on September 28th, ie., the Fast of Gedalia. He is going to have to do a lot of praying and fasting if he wants a short sentence.
Skolnick enticed teenage boys to send him nude pictures of themselves by posing as a teenage girl. Skolnick then threatened to release the nude pictures on the internet if the boys didn’t send him even more nude pictures, typical modus operandi of pedophiles. Skolnick engaged in his criminal activities for a period of at least seven years, most of which time he worked at the Yeshiva of Flatbush. He got busted after he left the Yeshiva of Flatbush and started working at SAR Academy in Riverdale. Raymond Harari and Jeffrey Rothman, the heads of the Yeshiva of Flatbush wrote an email to the school community that they were “not aware of any inappropriate behavior” of Skolnick while he was at the school. The Salanter Academy also claimed to have no knowledge of Mr. Skolnick’s deviant behavior. The Salanter parents were shocked by the news, as Skolnick was a popular teacher at the school.
While Skolnick was locked up at MCC in 2020, Skolnick’s father passed away in England. Skolnick’s lawyer asked that Skolnick be allowed to speak on the telephone with his brother Daniel, from Israel, to mourn the loss of their father. Request GRANTED by the Court. Skolnick was incarcerated in September of 2019 at MCC. Jeffrey Epstein had killed himself at MCC in August of 2019, so they never crossed paths. MCC is a dangerous place, especially for a pedophile. MDC is also pretty bad. Skolnick was probably placed in protective custody.
Skolnick’s case dragged on for almost three years before he decided to plead guilty. Judge Colleen McMahon ordered that a psychosexual evaluation and report be prepared by MCC Consulting, d/b/a The New York Mental Health Group, run by Dr. Jennifer A McCarthy. The $5K fee for the report was paid for by the Clerk of the Federal Court. The report will obviously find that Skolnick is suffering from numerous mental health issues. Prison will do nothing to address his underlying psychological disorders. He will come out of prison far more mentally ill than when he went in.
Skolnick is facing many decades in prison, as some of the counts he is charged with carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 to 15 years. He will probably end up in the Otisville medium, where many Orthodox Jews are placed who are convicted of violent crimes. Many pedophile convicts are purposefully placed in the Otisville medium in order keep all the pedophiles in one place where they can better defend themselves against violent attacks by other inmates. Skolnick may not get out of prison until he is in his 60s. Skolnick’s father died and his brother lives in the Holy Land. I don’t know what happened to his mother, Skolnick did not ask that he contact her to mourn the loss of his father. Skolnick won’t get many visitors, if any, in prison for the next decade or more. His new family will consist of fellow inmates.
The lesson to be learned from Mr. Skolnick: If you have preteens or teenage children make sure to tell them that the person they are talking to on the Internet may not be the attractive girl or boy they are sitting next to in math class and they may very well be talking to a 40 year old pedophile, and under no circumstances should they send naked pictures of themselves over the Internet.
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