ONLY ON CVP: An Elmwood Park man who came to court expecting probation for repeatedly stalking his ex-wife, breaking into her house and secretly videotaping her having sex with another man was instead sent to prison for 364 days.
“There is clearly something wrong with you,” Presiding Superior Court Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi told Lorenz Hen, 45. “I’ve never been so disappointed in a defendant.”
Friday was the second time in 6½ weeks that the Israeli citizen walked into court a free man and left in handcuffs.
The last time, on April 28, an outstanding arrest warrant out of Family Court surfaced and the judge ordered him jailed.
Hen, who has a history of arrests for non-payment of child support, has shown up late for court or not at all over the past 20 months, as seven indictments were brought charging him with stalking, assaulting or contacting his ex-wife in violation of court orders.
Earlier this year, Hen withdrew a plea to four indictments at what was supposed to be his sentencing. He was scheduled to go before DeAvila-Silebi for a trial date in April, but his lawyer said that Hen left the courthouse for a supervised visit with his children.
He was due in court at 9 a.m. later that same week but showed up a little before 11, angering the judge.
Hen eventually pleaded guilty to seven charges, for which prosecutors offered to recommend probation.
On Friday, Hen apologized to his former wife, who broke into tears.
Defense attorney James Addis put Hen’s child support arrears for their four-year-old son at $5,000 to $6,000, which she immediately disputed.
“The arrears as of right now stand at $20,000. It hasn’t been paid and it’s not $6,000,” the woman told DeAvila-Silebi.
Addis also claimed that the harassment has stopped and that Hen “had been devoted to one thing – supporting his son.” The defense attorney said “the transformation has been remarkable.”
Hen’s ex-wife disputed that, as well.
“I’m just going to ask for justice because I don’t want to live in fear anymore,” she said. “I don’t want to be afraid my son will be thrown from a high floor of a building — or be followed to a tall building, like I was two weeks ago.
“I was followed to day care by the defendant,” she said adding that she called police but he left before they got there.
Addis objected, calling the allegation “unfounded.”
“There has been no violation of your honor’s order,” he told the judge. “He has had no contact with his wife.’
To which DeAvila-Silebi responded: “I believe her 100% the way she spoke in court. I have to make a credibility call, and it’s not falling on his side.”
“I’m very upset with Mr. Hen,” the judge added. “He had his opportunity.”
Then, turning to him, she said: “I knew everything you did, and I was willing to give you a chance. The fact you had the gall to follow her to daycare — it’s an intimidation factor.
” You’re not going to pull the wool over my eyes,” the judge said. “She is in fear because of what you did.”
Hen claimed he was working in Connecticut that day and couldn’t have been in New Jersey, but DeAvila-Silebi wasn’t having any of it.
“I went out on a limb for you, and this is what I hear,” she said.
Hen tried to speak again and the judge stopped him.
In addition to the 364 days in the Bergen County Jail, DeAvila-Silebi sentenced him to five years probation.
If she comes back before her for any reason, the judge said, he’s going to state prison.
The case began in September 2012, when authorities charged Hen with attempting to assault his ex-wife and neglecting their 2-year-old child. Although she’d obtained a restraining order against him, prosecutors said Hen violated it by phoning the woman, approaching her in public and breaking into her house.
Less than a week later, they charged him with stalking for another violation. A judge set bail at $10,000.
Then things got ugly, prosecutors said.
After breaking into his ex-wife’s house, they said, Hen hid and then videotaped her and another man having sex. He then showed the video to the woman’s religious leader and threatened to distribute it to friends, business associates and others, authorities said.
Seven charges in all were filed, including assault counts for head-butting his ex-wife, injuring her eye and nose. Hen posted $2,500 bail and was released.
More indictments followed — two of them in April following stalking allegations in August and November of last year and in February. Bail was $25,000, which Hen again posted.
Assistant Prosecutor Jessica Gomperts added yet another wrinkle to the case on Friday.
Because he’s now divorced, she said, Hen is not a legal resident and may be deported.
“He’s a danger to his former wife,” she explained.
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