BROOKLYN: Hassidic Leader Found Guilty On 59 Counts Of Child Molestation
59 felony counts of sexually abusing a teenage girl.
“The veil of secrecy has been lifted,” said Charles J. Hynes, the Brooklyn district attorney. “The wall that has existed in parts of these communities has now been broken through. And as far as I’m concerned, it is very clear to me that it is only going to get better for people who are victimized in these various communities.” The case against the therapist, Nechemya Weberman, was a significant milestone for Mr. Hynes, whose office has been criticized for not acting aggressively enough against sexual abusers in the borough’s large and politically connected ultra-Orthodox community. The verdict represented the first time Mr. Hynes’ office has won a conviction of a prominent member of the Satmar Hasidic community of Williamsburg for child sexual abuse.Last week the victim testified that Weberman had forced her to reenact scenes he'd seen in porn movies. Several other members of his ultra-Orthodox sect have been arrested for taking photos of the victim on the witness stand and posting them online. Four other ultra-Orthodox members were charged with intimidation in June. Last week Weberman was seen attempting to further intimidate the victim by glaring at her through a glass courthouse door. His lawyers say they will appeal. The sentencing phase of the trial has not been announced.