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A powerful ultra-Orthodox Jewish counselor was found guilty Monday of sexually abusing a teenage girl over. Prosecutors said he used his status in the community to gain access to young girls who were deemed problems for not following strict Satmar rules. The girl molested was considered too rebellious. This was first time the Brooklyn DA's office won a conviction against a prominent member of the Satmar Hasidic community of Williamsburg for child sexual abuse. Members of the community are wary of reaching out to authorities.
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In a heated district leader race in northern Brooklyn, reform candidate Lincoln Restler trails behind longtime Greenpoint activist Chris Olechowski, the candidate backed by disgraced party boss Vito Lopez.
The race in Lopezâ€™s 50th Assembly District may come down to a counting of affidavit and absentee ballots. Restler is behind Olechowski by a margin of 136 votes, with Olechowski receiving 5,820 votes to Restlerâ€™s 5,684.
Valerie Vazquez, a spokeswoman for the city Board of Elections, said in an email today that affidavit and absentee ballots will be counted starting on Friday, Sept. 21, and may continue through Sunday.
More than 11,000 people voted in the high-profile district leader race, with a large flow of members of the Satmar-Hasidic community filling into poll sites ready to cast their vote for Olechowski. The New York Times reported that â€śit made it seem as if the election would determine the nationâ€™s president rather than the low-profile position of the district leader of a few Brooklyn neighborhoods." The Times said the turnout reflected the groupâ€™s loyalty to the Brooklyn party boss.
Restler, 28, whose win as district leader in 2010 represented a major success for anti-machine Brooklynites, is depending on the count of absentee ballots and voting procedure challenges to close in on the margin of votes needed for his re-election.