Rabbi Eisemann’s Defense Team Submits 4 New Reasons His Case Should Be Dismissed

Following the Eisemann defense’s motion on November 22nd to dismiss the case in light of newly released documents that prove the prosecution’s violation of the Brady Act was intentional, as well as the discovery of an additional willful Brady violation, Judge Joseph Paone requested that the defense consolidate all additional motions of dismissal and submit them by Monday, December 18th. That submission was made by the defense today, and the prosecution will now have until January 15 to respond, ahead of oral arguments scheduled for February 20th.

The defense has now submitted – in addition to the motion alleging an intentional Brady violation – another four reasons why the case should be dismissed in its entirety.

In their motion, the defense notes that it is now clear that the information the prosecution withheld from the trial jury – the identity of the bookkeeper who made the QuickBooks entry that prosecutors alleged was criminal – was also withheld from the grand jury that handed down the indictment against Rabbi Eisemann. On February 5th, 2018, two months before the grand jury convened, Exhibit F was created. This was not disclosed to the grand jury, a blatant violation of the Hogan Rule, which mandates the prosecution to disclose potentially exculpatory evidence to the trial jury and defense attorneys. Like with Brady, where a violation warranted the dismissal of Rabbi Eisemann’s convictions, a violation of the Hogan Rule warrants the dismissal of the indictments handed down by the grand jury.

A second grounds for dismissal advanced by Rabbi Eisemann’s attorneys is the lack of evidence to support the state’s charges. While the prosecution alleges a loan write-down by Rabbi Eisemann, it has never offered a shred of evidence to support that claim that a loan ever existed – other than a QuickBooks log entry that was misinterpreted as a loan balance. In fact, the appellate court noted in its ruling that prosecutors provided no evidence of any debt having existed. The motion reads: “In sum, the State is prosecuting Rabbi Eisemann for writing down a loan it has no evidence existed.”

Moreover, there is no evidence Rabbi Eisemann even had any connection to the entry prosecutors relied their case on, a point that is particularly important now that the identity of the bookkeeper who made the entry is known, and as the only eyewitness to it she testified that the log account was not depicting a loan, but was simply a shoddy accounting maneuver to balance the books that was done without the knowledge or direction of Rabbi Eisemann.

The defense’s third argument for dismissal is that the remaining indictments are logically inconsistent and legally defective, as they hinge on the three indictments that were discarded by the jury in the 2019 trial. Those indictments cannot be retried due to double jeopardy standards. The remaining indictments accuse Rabbi Eisemann of corruption of a public official and financial facilitation. Both charges are based on the other, previously rejected indictments. Without them, these charges cannot exist.

The fourth point arguing for a dismissal is a de minimis statute that is designed to prevent prosecutorial overreach and unwise or unnecessary prosecution. The de minimis statute allows the judge to dismiss the indictment of trivial matters, even if the conduct was technically in violation of the law but was not of the type intended and envisioned by the legislation that made it a crime.

As it pertains to Rabbi Eisemann’s case, the law making it illegal to conduct financial facilitation was intended to confront organized crime, not errant bookkeeping. In this case, the original trial judge had found that this matter could have been handled as an administrative matter and that Rabbi Eisemann’s conduct took place under the scrutiny of the Department of Education without any complaints. There was no aggrieved victim in this case, and moreover, the Lakewood Board of Education was fully supportive of Rabbi Eisemann throughout.

Despite the major setbacks suffered by the prosecution, and despite the calls of multiple New Jersey senators to drop the case, the prosecution appears bent on continuing the case at all costs. As the defense noted at the beginning of its motion, “What is happening here is clear: The state’s case is dead. Rather than admit defeat, the state is instinctively fighting, continuing its seven-year-long harassment campaign against an innocent man.”

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