When Borough Park resident Sam Kellner went to authorities with allegations that Satmar Rabbi Baruch Lebovits had molested his son, he risked becoming a pariah in his insular ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood. Sure enough, Kellner was shunned from his community, was unable to do business with his neighbors, and ultimately had to pawn his silverware to survive. In the most shocking twist of all, however, Kellner was indicted by Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes on dubious charges of trying to extort Lebovits before turning evidence over to the authorities. Today, new Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson finally dropped the charges against Kellner, a case that he referred to on the campaign trail as "botched."

“After a careful review of the evidence, we have concluded that the charges against Samuel Kellner must be dismissed. We’ve reached this conclusion because we do not believe that we can prove these charges at trial,” said District Attorney Ken Thompson in a statement.

In 2008, Kellner's son told him he was sexually abused by his Rabbi. After searching out other instances of abuse by Lebovits (and after meeting early resistance from DA Hynes), Kellner finally succeeded in providing enough evidence that Lebovits was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to 10 ½ to 32 years in prison for a long history of sexual abuse. It was after the trial that Hynes turned his attention on Kellner, in a move that would likely have a chilling effect on anyone else from reporting sexual abuse in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community (which also happened to vote as a bloc for Hynes for decades).

Hynes claimed that Kellner had been trying to extort Lebovits before the trial, even though Kellner reported to Hynes that the exact opposite was happening: several hasidic leaders were trying to pay Kellner to be quiet. Still, Hynes persisted with the case even after key witnesses proved to be highly erratic.

During his campaign against the incumbent Hynes last Fall, Thompson pledged to hold all communities to the same standard when it came to prosecuting crimes. In dropping the retributive case against Kellner, he appears to be doing just that.