Andrew Jarecki, the multimillionaire director behind “Capturing the Friedmans,” continued his assault on victims of sexual abuse by throwing a party in honor of convicted child molester Jesse Friedman at his lavish New York City home last month.
In June, Friedman surfaced at a party hosted by Andrew Jarecki and his wife Nancy to celebrate the launch of the Marshall Project, a not-for-profit news organization focused on reforming the criminal justice system.
Jarecki’s celeb-filled bash – which landed him on Page Six of the New York Post – is the latest stunt by the controversial director to gain publicity for his films.
Friedman – who was found 100% guilty of sexually abusing children even after his case was reviewed by an independent panel of experts – is an ironic choice for the face of an organization that seeks to start “a national conversation” about the criminal justice system.
First, Friedman is middle-aged, white and male – which hardly speaks to the racial bias in our nation’s courts and prison.
Secondly, Friedman was not the victim of mandatory sentencing for low-level offenses, like marijuana possession. Faced with over 100 counts of sodomy, Friedman failed two lie-detector tests, confessed to his crimes and pled guilty to molesting 13 children. He was paroled after serving only 13 years of an 18-year prison sentence.
Lastly, Friedman’s conviction was not the result of bad or incompetent lawyers. A top-notch legal team including the famed civil rights lawyer Ron Kuby has long represented Friedman. On top of that, much of cost of Friedman’s numerous appeals has been bankrolled by the wealthy Jarecki.
But the hypocrisy doesn’t end there.
How does an organization dedicated to “excellent journalism about the U.S. court and prison systems” align itself with Jarecki – who has been publicly criticized for distorting crucial facts about the Friedman case?
After the release of his film, six victims of the Friedmans bravely came forward and accused Jarecki of creating “more ambiguity than actually existed about the case both to heighten the dramatic impact of the firm and to elicit sympathy for the Friedmans.”
Jesse Friedman was not wrongly convicted – and Andrew Jarecki is not an unbiased documentary filmmaker.
The founders of the Marshall Project should be wary of these wolves in sheep’s clothing.
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