Names of 46 convicted child sex offenders who terrorized the Orthodox Jewish community from within are released by Brooklyn DA
- Nechemya Weberman, 54, sentenced to 103-years for molesting a girl, 12
- Originally 118 under operation Kol Tzedek, Hebrew for ‘voice of justice’
- Of those 25 ended in jail terms, 33 felonies and 13 misdemeanors
- Ten cases dismissed because victims backed out or parents allow testimony
By Daily Mail Reporter PUBLISHED:22 July 2013
The Brooklyn District Attorney has convicted 45 men and a woman in the four years since it launched its clampdown on sex abuse within the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, it was revealed today.
DA Charles Hynes, who is running for re-election in the New York district, released their identities in an apparent U-turn on his previous policy of not naming perverts for fear victims might suffer intimidation or that others may be deterred from coming forward.
The most high-profile case saw religious counsellor Nechemya Weberman, 54, sentenced to 103-years in prison for molesting a girl, beginning when she was 12-years old.
‘We feel now it’s good for the community to know those who have been convicted,’ Hynes’ spokesman told the New York Post.
Of those, 25 sex offenders were jailed.
Others included 33 felonies, 13 misdemeanors while the only convicted woman was sentenced to 3 and a half years in prison for sexually abusing her son.
The sentences are a major victory for Hynes and the city of New York where securing convictions in Orthodox Jewish communities can be difficult because many fear being ostracized if speak out about abuse.
At least 10 cases were dismissed and seven downgraded because victims backed out or parents refused to let their children testify.
But prosecutors believe victims have gained courage since predators like Weberman – whose supporters allegedly tried to bribe the victim and threaten her boyfriend’s business – have been jailed.
Weberman, 54, who worked as an unlicensed therapist in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, was sentenced in January following an emotional testimony by his victim, now aged 18.
‘I clearly remember how I would look in the mirror. I saw a girl who didn’t want to live in her own skin, a girl whose innocence was shattered, a girl who couldn’t sleep at night because of the gruesome invasion that had been done to her body,’ the accuser told the court.
She said she was ‘a sad girl who wanted to live a normal life but instead was being victimized by a 50-year-old man who forced her to perform sickening acts again and again.’
She had testified that Weberman abused her repeatedly behind his locked office door from the time she was 12 until she was 15.
Weberman was convicted last month on all 59 counts, including sustained sexual abuse of a child, endangering the welfare of a child and sexual abuse.
The trial put a spotlight on the ultra-orthodox community in Brooklyn and its strict rules that govern clothing, social customs and interaction with the outside world.
Both Weberman, 54, and the accuser belonged to the Satmar Hasidic sect.
The teen and her family have been harassed and ostracized, reflecting long-held beliefs that any conflict must be dealt with from within.
During the trial, men were arrested on charges they tried to bribe the accuser and her now-husband to drop the case.
Others were accused of snapping photos of her on the witness stand and posting them online.
She expressed hope that by coming forward, she could give strength to other victims of sexual abuse.
Her school had ordered her to see Weberman because she had been asking questions about her religion and was dressing immodestly in violation of the sect’s customs, and it was believed she needed to be helped back on the right path.
Weberman wasn’t a licensed counselor but spent decades working with couples and families in his community.
There was no physical evidence of abuse.
The court received dozens of letters from supporters of the defendant who described his life in the community as a counselor and a father.
‘Nechemya Weberman is innocent of the crimes charged,’ defense attorney George Farkas insisted at the sentencing.
On Tuesday Weberman said ‘no thank you’ when asked if he wished to speak. He and his wife had no visible reaction to the sentence. The top charge carried a sentence of 25 years; he got consecutive terms for some of the other charges.
The defense argued that the girl was angry that Weberman had told her parents she had a boyfriend at the age of 15 which is forbidden in her community.
They claimed the girl went to police only after Weberman and her parents set up hidden cameras to secretly record the girl having sex with her boyfriend when she was still underage.
Weberman turned the tapes over to police in the hopes that the boyfriend would be prosecuted.
The charges against the boyfriend were later dropped.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2373238/Names-46-convicted-child-sex-offenders-terrorized-Orthodox-Jewish-community-released-Brooklyn-DA.html#ixzz2ZlfVW1eN
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