Federal prosecutors charged the founder of the Borough Park shomrim with a three-count indictment for allegedly sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
Jacob Daskal, 62, had been charged in New York State court in 2018 for raping the teen victim, and was out on a $75,000 bond, but now the feds have stepped in — hitting him with charges of coercing a minor to engage in illicit sexual conduct, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct,
“Daskal, who was almost 60 years old when these crimes were committed, exploited the vulnerability of a young teenager by grooming her for sex and enticing her into having sexual relationships with him,” acting US District Attorney Seth DuCharme said in a statement.
Daskal plead not guilty in Brooklyn federal court on Thursday.
Federal prosecutors say that Daskal — who founded the private safety group that patrols Borough Park in conjunction with the 66th Police Precinct — fostered a sexual relationship with the underage girl, who he abused in his home in Brooklyn in 2017.
Daskal also allegedly took the girl to his summer home in upstate New York — crossing state borders into New Jersey along the way, according to court documents.
The cross-border crimes continued when the victim moved to Chicago, and Daskal allegedly communicated with the victim over Skype and text, asking her to pose nude during video chats and send nude photos, according to the federal complaint.
On Nov. 5 2017, Daskal traveled to Chicago to visit the victim, where he brought her to a hotel room for sex, prosecutors allege.
“A man who founded an organization aimed at creating a safer community should know the difference between right and wrong,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr.
As a leader of the Shomrim, Daskal assumed a position of respect and influence within the Borough Park Orthodox Jewish community, which prosecutors say he used to silence his victim.
“Mr. Daskal’s position of influence may have helped him attempt to silence his victim, but it won’t stop the FBI from holding him accountable,” Sweeney said.
Daskal’s 2018 state charge continues to play out in Kings County court, but he now faces a minimum of 10 years in US prison, and a maximum of life behind bars, from the federal charges.
Daskal’s attorney declined to comment.