Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Brooklyn Hasidic leader, Nechemya Weberman, guilty of sexual abuse

Just a disgusting story, one we wish we didn't have to read and share. Nechemya Weberman, a non-licensed "therapist"and Jewish community leader, was convicted of 59 counts of sexual abuse for his dastardly part in abusing a young girl who was forced to see Weberman at school from the ages of 12-17. The Brooklyn DA proved that Weberman, among other things, would make the underage girl watch pornography and then make her reenact the scene with him. This trial certainly pulled back the curtain on the underside of the Hasidic community in Brooklyn. A world of an unlicensed and predatory "therapist" who had the support (still) of much of his community. In fact,  four men acted out in trying to intimidate this young girl from testifying:

Prosecutors charged Abraham Rubin, 48, of Williamsburg with bribery, witness tampering and coercion. They said that he had been recorded offering the accuser’s boyfriend the money, and he suggested that the young couple could flee to Israel to avoid testifying. He also offered to provide them with a lawyer who could help them avoid cooperating with prosecutors.

Prosecutors also charged three brothers, Jacob, Joseph and Hertzka Berger, with coercion, saying they threatened and then removed the kosher certification of a restaurant run by the accuser’s boyfriend. The brothers are sons of a local rabbi who issues kosher certifications to stores.

When that attempt at intimidation didn't work, knowing they weren't allowed to release her name to the public, four more Weberman supporters actually took cell phone pictures of the girl in court and released them on Twitter.

Yesterday, the already disturbing trial of Nechemya Weberman—a Hasidic counselor who has been accused of sexually abusing a teen girl in Brooklyn for years— took another disturbing turn when four people were taken into custody for photographing the victim in court. Those four men—including one who has been identified as "Lemon Juice"—were arrested and have now been charged with criminal contempt in the second degree; they could serve up to one year in jail. "This is on the Internet now," Supreme Court Justice John Ingram told the four ultra-Orthodox men. "It's probably streamed all over the world."

The four men—who have been identified by prosecutors as Joseph Fried, Yona Weisman, Abraham Zupnick and, seriously, Lemon Juice (you can see his driver's license here)—are accused of taking photos of the now 17-year-old victim while she was testifying in court on Wednesday and Thursday. They were able to email it out before they were caught—you can see one of the photos (with blacked out faces) above. Nine cell phones were confiscated altogether by Judge Ingram.

Despicable isn't it? The lengths some people will go to to protect a predator.

So besides putting away a hideous child predator we also see how business runs in the Hasidic community in Brooklyn. It's just not too attractive is it? Johnny's gonna go wash now.

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