Jacob Daskal, 62, was arrested after being charged and indicted with “coercing a minor to engage in illicit sexual conduct” as well as the “intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and travelling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct,” a press release from the Justice Department reads.
Daskal is the head of the Borough Park branch of Shomrim Society, the international umbrella network dedicated to patrolling haredi Jewish neighborhoods across the US, the UK, and Canada. He maintained that position of authority the entire time that he was sexually exploiting a minor.
Daskal “exploited the vulnerability of a young teenager by grooming her for sex and enticing her into having sexual relations with him,” said Acting United States Attorney Seth D. Ducharme, who announced the arrest together with William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office.
This isn’t the first time Daskal was charged for illegal sexual activity.
Back in 2017, when he was 59, Daskal was charged with the rape of a 16-year-old girl, dated to somewhere between August and November of that year, the New York Daily News reported at the time. The New York Post added that the charge was only possible because the girl told a mentor about the abuse, who reported to the authorities.
The Post reported that the two cases are actually of the same girl. A detention memo submitted by Assistant US attorney Erin Reid asserts that Daskal allegedly “abused his position of power in the Orthodox Jewish community to groom a vulnerable… victim,” the Post noted.
The Post specified in their report that he raped her at his home in Borough Park as well as in his summer home in South Fallsburg, New York.
Then, in October 2017, the girl moved away to Chicago. Daskal continued to contact her even there. This culminated with a November 5 visit by Daskal to her, where he brought her to his hotel room and proceeded to engage “in sexual intercourse and oral sex” with her, according to the press release.
“A man who founded an organization aimed at creating a safer community should know the difference between right and wrong,” Sweeney said.
His arraignment is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this story.