NEW YORK - The Department of Justice has indicted the founder and chief of the Borough Park Shomrim Society, an anti-crime patrol group, on charges of enticing a 15-year-old girl to travel with him to engage in sexual activity, among other crimes.
According to authorities, Jacob Daskal, 62, was arrested Thursday morning and charged with coercing a 15-year-old 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.
If convicted, he faces 10 years to life in prison.
According to court documents, between August and November 2017, Daskal, then age 59, allegedly engaged in a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl whom he took into his home in Brooklyn, where he groomed her for sex.
Get breaking news alerts in the FOX5NY News app. Download for FREE!
During the summer of 2017, Daskal allegedly engaged in sexual relations with the victim primarily at his residence and at his summer home in South Fallsburg, New York.
Authorities say that in October of that year, the victim moved to Chicago to attend a new school and live with another family. While the victim was in Chicago, she and Daskal allegedly communicated via text message and over Skype video chat. Prosecutors allege that he requested that she pose nude for him during their video chats and send him nude photographs as well.
On November 5, 2017, Daskal allegedly traveled by plane to Chicago to visit the victim and brought her to a hotel room he had booked, where authorities say he engaged in sexual intercourse and oral sex with her.
"Throughout the abuse, Daskal was the founder and chief of the Borough Park Shomrim Society, a private anti-crime patrol group, a position in the community which led the victim to feel threatened when he told her not to tell anyone about their sexual relationship," the Department of Justice said.
"A man who founded an organization aimed at creating a safer community should know the difference between right and wrong. As we allege, 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. Sexually exploiting a teenaged girl is a crime that carries severe consequences, and we hope Mr. Daskal’s arrest will demonstrate to other victims that they can come forward. We are asking anyone with information about this investigation or the identities of additional victims to call us at 212-384-1000," stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.
This is not the first time a member of the Brooklyn Shomrim has fallen afoul of law enforcement, as, in 2016, a member of the neighborhood patrol was charged with bribery and conspiracy after allegedly bragging on a wiretap that he had used connections with the NYPD to obtain over 150 gun licenses for people who would not otherwise qualify for them.