Baruch Lebovits, a Hasidic Borough Park cantor who pleaded guilty to child molestation in May following a six year investigation and court case, was released last night after serving three months in prison.
The Daily News reports that Lebovits was released from Rikers Island last night. He had been sentenced to two years in prison in May, but received 13 months credit for time already served. He was released after serving the minimum remainder of his sentence, with credit for good behavior.
Lebovits's short sentence is particularly noteworthy, considering he'd been sentenced to 32 years in prison after he was found guilty in 2010 of sexually abusing a 16-year-old student. That conviction was overturned by an appeals court in 2012 over a series of technicalities. Even more unnervingly, Sam Kellner, another Hasidic man who helped get his son and a number of Lebovits's alleged victims to talk to investigators, was charged with extortion, and former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes aggressively prosecuted Kellner despite highly dubious evidence.
Though Lebovits has admitted to forcing one teenager to engage in oral sex with him on eight different occasions in 2004 and 2005, community members say there are likely many other victims. He has been designated a level-2 sex offender.
DA Thompson's office declined to comment on Lebovits's release.