The founder of the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center appeared today in Dedham, Mass., to face criminal charges stemming from instances of abuse at the infamous center. Matthew Israel, who founded the center 40 years ago, will accept a five-year probationary term rather than prison time. As part of the agreement, the center’s day-to-day activities will now be overseen by a court-approved monitor. More details can be found in today’s Boston Globe.
Kenneth Mollins is a New York attorney who has filed multiple lawsuits over the years against the Rotenberg center alleging the mistreatment of children. He shared his views with us today as news of the charges came to light.
On August 26, 2007 two students were mercilessly shocked as a result of a prank at the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, Massachusetts. The only center in the country where students receive shocks for saying “no” to a directive and where students are strapped to a board for hours after certain forbidden behaviors are shocked without warning as they lie on boards on the floor. The United Nations recently found the treatment of our children at this facility to be “torture” yet it continued day in and day out. Clinicians who previously and illegally called themselves “psychologists” oversee this torture all under the direction of Mathew Israel, the center’s founder and leader in this aversive torture. And now, almost four years after the victims of this prank have heard nothing, and after daily pain and torture continued to be disseminated into the bodies of our children, we can say “The Director” has been stopped. Matthew Israel tried to cover the cruelty of the event by getting rid of the video. He lied about the events of the evening. He will not suffer the torture his victims suffered and he will not be punished for those actions. He is being punished for lying and interfering with the administration of justice. Four years it took to call the man a liar and punish him. Four years since this terrorist continued to inflict pain on those who couldn’t respond or understand the reason for it … he will shock no more.
I really don’t care why … I really don’t care who … although I wanted to see him in handcuffs, I really don’t care if he walks out a free man. But is he really free? He knows what he has done and the humiliation coupled with the loss of power is enough for me. Well, it’s enough for me if our children are protected. This is an awesome first step. We need to be vigilant in making sure the children in this center and anywhere else cannot be tortured. The disability advocates of this country should be proud because without all of you Mathew Israel might still be the director.
He is now just alleged a common criminal!
– Kenneth Mollins