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Henry Mazurek Wins Acquittal At Trial

On April 21, 2015, Henry Mazurek won a full acquittal for his client, David Epstein, in a high-profile, ten week kidnapping trial in federal court in Trenton, NJ, and was the only lawyer able to achieve such an exoneration at trial.  Additionally, Henry successfully persuaded the government to take the unusual step of dismissing one of the kidnapping charges against his client.

In particular, the government charged a group of rabbis with conspiring to kidnap Jewish husbands who refused to grant religious divorces, known as gets, to their wives.  It claimed that these alleged offenses were committed for purposes of compelling those recalcitrant husbands to relent and free their wives, who are considered “chained women” (“agunot“), so that they can re-marry within the Jewish religion.  Henry’s case, which was the subject of a Newsweek article entitled “In Orthodox Jewish Divorce, Men Hold All the Cards,” ignited a national debate concerning the interaction of religious freedoms and the enforcement of the criminal law because the government sought to prosecute practices and matters of the religion law of the Orthodox Jewish faith.

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