Raphael Golb Guilty of Impersonating Dead Sea Scrolls Scholar
Manhattan lawyer Raphael Golb convicted of impersonating, harassing NYU Dead Sea Scrolls professor
by Melissa Grace, from New York Daily News
A Manhattan lawyer was convicted Thursday of impersonating and harassing a prominent NYU Dead Sea Scrolls professor—his dad’s academic rival.
Raphael Golb sat stock still as the Manhattan forewoman said “guilty” 30 times, clearing the real estate lawyer of just one misdemeanor count after five hours of deliberations.
“I’m stoic,” Golb said later, collapsing on a bench outside the court room. He vowed to appeal, claiming the judge was biased against him.
His lawyer said the verdict trampled on free speech rights.
“Today what happened was the district attorney of New York County and the trial court made hurting somebody’s feelings a criminal act,” defense lawyer Ronald Kuby said. “In New York, hurting people’s feelings or being annoying is not a crime. We call that Monday.”
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. called Golb a coward who stole his victim’s identities and hid behind them in a “sock-puppet” campaign against five scholars. The targeted academics disagreed with his father on the origins of the 2,000-year-old scrolls, considered the earliest form of the Bible.
Golb, who faces up to four years in prison, admitted he created email accounts in the name of NYU Prof. Lawrence Schiffman and others and described the mass mailings he sent out as parody.
“This isn’t a guy who is shopping on eBay and writing nasty emails,” Assistant District Attorney John Bandler told jurors in his closing arguments.
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