Gill Hoffman, 61, said he met Mr Daskal when the two were in their 20s. Mr. Hoffman said that when his car stalled Mr. Daskal showed up with flying cables.
“I know him as a nice guy, a lovely guy, a helpful guy,” Mr. Hoffman said.
Mr Hoffman said he believed Mr Daskal’s troubles started when he tried to help a local family turn it into a false accusation of abuse.
“This is what happens when you try to help too many people,” he said.
Charges that Mr. Daskal abused the girl first surfaced in May 2018, when he was arrested by sex crimes investigators from the New York Police Department.
At the time, he was charged with statutory rape, sexual abuse and other crimes. Federal charges against him include coercing a minor into unlawful sexual behavior and transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
Echoing the state’s case, the federal indictment accuses Mr. Daskal of abusing the girl for several months in 2017. The federal charges stem from the government’s claim that the illegal activity was not limited to Brooklyn but also involved crossing state borders.
After taking the victim to her home in Borough Park, according to the indictment, Mr. Daskal prepared her for sex and then assaulted her on several occasions, both in Brooklyn and in his hometown. vacation home in Catskills, South Fallsburg, New York. said he traveled through New Jersey.
In October 2017, prosecutors said, the victim moved to Chicago to attend a new school. While there, Mr. Daskal kept in touch with her via text and Skype, asking her to pose nude for him during their video chats and also send him nude photos.