Audio: Yakov Shapiro’s bail hearing

Yakov Shapiro appeared in court with his son, Roman, after being arrested and falsely accused of inappropriately touching two young boys who were taking Bar Mitzvah lessons from a Rabbi named Yisroel Shapiro. It was a case of mistaken identity.

The violin teacher and his son attempt to explain to the judge that they do not speak Hebrew, nor do they consider themselves religious Jews. Below is a partial transcript and an audio recording of the events that transpired in the court on Nov. 30, 2007:

Pretrial release investigator: States he’s self-employed as a teacher for 14 years. He has completed the twelfth grade and four years of college…He has no convictions on record, no arrest history, he’s not on parole or probation…not pending any cases. Now would you like the allegations?

Judge: I’ve read the allegations, basically, that two young men out there, related, I don’t know how, alleging that he was teaching them for their Bar Mitzvah and committed sexual acts on them.

[The pretrial investigator recommends raising the bail in each case from $10,000 to $50,000]

Judge: These offenses occurred 10 years ago and about 13 years ago.

Prosecutor: Your Honor, if the defendant is still teaching at his home, State’s going to request that you instruct him not to have any unsupervised conduct with young boys while these cases are pending. Additionally…the State would ask that Your Honor instruct the defendant not to leave the country while these charges are pending.

Judge (to Shapiro): What do you want to say about the bail?

Yakov Shapiro: About the bail…I think that that bail was paid in full today…

Roman Shapiro: We have to wait until this is over to pay the bail.

Yakov: We have to wait until this case is over…

Roman (interrupts): Until the hearing is over…

Judge (interrupts): Just a moment.

Roman: Sorry.

Judge: Now, you’re his son?

Roman: Yes…we’ve been here…

Judge: Stand up!

Roman: We’ve been here since 9 o’clock in the morning trying to pay the bail.

Judge: Uh-huh. Well, why didn’t you pay it?

To listen to the full recording from hearing, use the player below:


  1. Catherine Besteder

    Absolutely horrible miscarriage of justice — if you want to call it that!

    Mr. Shapiro was my daughter’s violin teach for many years. He is such a fine man and our family is HORRIFIED at the way he was treated. To think of him thrown in jail because the State of Maryland can’t read the right first name!!!!

    I think it is unfortunate that he could only sue for $200,000… Being accused of such things could have killed this man. Not to mention ruin his livelyhood. I am surprised he did not have a heart attack. You could put no dollar amount on the way he was damaged by the State.

    AND for the prosectutor to IGNORE the fact that they obviously had the wrong man and then RAISE the bail.


    The Besteder family of Derwood, Maryland

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