“This refers to the Spouter of Lies (מטיף הכזב), who deceived many…“
(Pesher Habakkuk is a Dead Sea Scroll from Qumran Cave 1)
The Criminal Division of the New York Supreme Court has found Dr. Raphael Golb, son of University of Chicago Oriental Institute historian Dr. Norman Golb, GUILTY of multiple felony and misdemeanor counts of identity theft, criminal impersonation, forgery, aggravated harassment, and the unauthorized use of a computer. The charges stem from a bizarre case where Dr. Golb used an army of internet aliases to falsely charge his father’s perceived rival, NYU Judaic Studies professor Dr. Lawrence Schiffman, with plagiarism, and then criminally impersonated Dr. Schiffman by opening an email account in Schiffman’s name, emailing Schiffman’s students and colleagues, and admitting to the “plagiarism” on Schiffman’s behalf. Dr. Golb was also charged with criminally impersonating and/or assuming the identity of Dr. Frank Moore Cross, Dr. Jonathan Seidel, Dr. Jeffrey Gibson, Dr. Stephen Goranson; the aggravated harassment of Dr. Lawrence Schiffman, Dr. Stephen Goranson, and Dr. Robert Cargill; and of the unauthorized use of a NYU computer.
The 12-person jury of Dr. Golb’s peers wasted little time in finding him guilty on multiple counts.
So much for the “it may not be very nice, but it’s not illegal” defense. It’s illegal too!
Dr. Golb admitted under cross-examination that he lied to police during his initial arrest interview, and that he had indeed created all of the emails he sent to NYU and UCLA faculty and administrators.
Dr. Golb’s defense attorneys, Ron Kuby (who is notable enough to have a Wikipedia page ;-) and David Breitbart, attempted to argue that Dr. Golb’s criminal impersonation, identity theft, and forgery were protected under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment right to free speech. The jury apparently was not impressed with the defense’s attempt to use protected speech afforded it by the criminal justice process (witnesses cannot sue the defense for libelous, defamatory, and/or false claims made during the trial) to attack Dr. Golb’s victims further. Despite attempting to turn the trial into a referendum on Dr. Golb’s views about the Dead Sea Scrolls, attempting to put Dr. Schiffman on trial for plagiarism he did not commit, or using a parody/satire/I was just kidding/it was all a joke defense, the jury saw through defense tactics and found Dr. Golb guilty.
The convicted felon Golb will be sentenced November 18. Prior to the trial, the defendant turned down a plea agreement where he would have pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges, paid a fine, and would be placed on probation for two years. Golb rejected the deal because probation would have prevented him from using aliases to battleblog against others online. Perhaps this explains defense attorney David Breitbart’s comment:
“He had to go to trial in this case in order to accomplish his goal.”
This sentiment betrays Dr. Golb’s entire motive both for his smear campaign and for not settling the case: he knew he was guilty, he knew what he was doing was wrong, he knew he was going down, so he tried to take Dr. Schiffman with him. He tried to put Dr. Schiffman on trial for something he didn’t do.
It is worth noting that the father of the convicted felon, Dr. Norman Golb, has been shown in publicly available court documents (here and here) to not only have known about his son’s smear campaign, but to have actively participated in some of the activities that led to his son’s arrest and conviction. Yet, Dr. Norman Golb did not testify in his son’s defense; he did not even attend the trial.
Perhaps the Dead Sea Scrolls really are cursed…
A few questions remain:
- Will Dr. Golb appeal the decision?
- Will Dr. Golb be automatically disbarred from the New York State Bar, or will there be disbarment proceedings?
- Will the University of Chicago formally apologize to the victims of crimes committed by relatives and employees of the Oriental Institute now that the court has shown that a University employee (Dr. Norman Golb) had full knowledge of and participated in some of these criminal activities?
As for my role in this case, I shall continue to monitor the situation and shine a light on all those who attempt to use devious means to harm good scholars. I shall continue to update this case at who-is-charles-gadda.com.
“For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel,
and before the sun.”
2 Samuel 12:12
Filed under: anonymity, archaeology, blogging, crime, dead sea scrolls, internet, justice and legal, qumran, robert cargill, scholarship, technology | Tagged: 1QpHab 10:9, aggravated harassment, convicted, court, crime, criminal, criminal impersonation, david breitbart, forgery, guilty, identity theft, jeffrey gibson, lawrence schiffman, liar, lied, new york, norman golb, not very nice, oriental institute, raphael golb, robert cargill, ron kuby, spouter of lies, stephen goranson, unauthorized use of a computer, university of chicago | 20 Comments »