Child abuser in Satmar community goes on trial
After months of anticipation, a 17-year-old girl took the stand in the sexual abuse trial of a respected counselor from an ultra-orthodox Jewish community that authorities say has historically avoided such prosecutions by keeping members quiet.Besides the violation of the poor girl at the hands of a man who didn't even get a license and training, the mafia-like intimidation tactics that took place while the trial was getting underway are also an outrage:
In a packed courtroom filled mostly with her supporters, the teen took the stand against Nechemya Weberman, an unlicensed religious counselor in the Satmar community, an ultra-orthodox sect of Judaism.
Weberman is accused of sexually abusing the girl dozens of times in his home and office over a three-year span beginning when she was 12 years old. The girl, who turns 18 next week, is not being identified because she is the victim of a sexual-abuse crime.
The case has caused deep divisions among Williamsburg’s Hasidim, with some rallying behind Weberman, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for his defense and subjecting the accuser to threats and name-calling.So this is the mindset that dominates the community, acting as though the victim is not a concern, rather their own reputation, and they even have blatant disregard for the law! The New York Daily News has more on the case, and also at CBS. Here's another report on potential intimidation committed at the courtroom after about 4 men took pictures illegally:
Four men were charged earlier this year after they allegedly tried to buy the silence of the girl and her now-husband. The girl was married in October.
On Tuesday, the girl talked about what a difficult decision it was to have to testify against Weberman.
The girl testified that her parents had suggested she drop the case as recently as six months ago, taking her to a Rabbi, who tried to get her to drop the case.
When asked by a prosecutor what was the benefit of proceeding, she answered, “peace.”
Asked about the pressure to drop the case, she gave several examples, including “intimidation,” “intimidation of my parents,” “loss of business,” “having my nieces kicked out of school.”
A teen who says a Hasidic counselor demanded oral sex from her has been outed on the Internet, where photos of her testifying against her alleged abuser have surfaced.They most definitely should. Look at that, more blatant disrespect for the law was committed, and luckily, the thugs were caught.
Four men were detained Thursday in connection with the illegal photo sharing and are expected to be charged with criminal contempt, law enforcement sources said.
The disturbing twist in the case involves a cell phone photo — clearly showing the 17-year-old — that was snapped Wednesday inside the Brooklyn courtroom, incensing Supreme Court Justice John Ingram.
“This is on the Internet now,” the angry jurist told the four ultra-Orthodox men. “It’s probably streamed all over the world.”
The judge admonished the foursome — whom he identified as Lemon Juice, Abraham Zupnick, Joseph Fried and Yona Weisman — saying they violated a rule prohibiting photography in court.
“What you have done, apparently, is take the photos in the courtroom yesterday and today,” Ingram said. “You know about the law, you know about the Torah, you know about rabbinical courts — this is a civil court.”
The judge also hinted that they should expect repercussions.
A spectator told court officers he noticed someone snap a cell phone photo from the back row Thursday afternoon, triggering the investigation.This article (via Unorthodox Jew) tells that Weberman's stare was a very menacing one. All Hasidic sects unfortunately have their problems with vermin like him, but what makes the Satmar stand out as the worst is how they're the most uncooperative and contemptuous towards the victims. The girl was lucky to find supportive crowds coming to help her out as told in this article (also via Unorthodox Jew), unlike at least one previous trial where there was a crowd siding with the defendant. This all exposes just how dangerous and unhealthy insular communities can end up becoming.
An image of the teen, which was obtained by the Daily News, was taken Wednesday. That’s the same day Weberman was also accused of staring the girl down as she rested in an interview room during one of the court breaks.
In response, to shield her from intimidation, the girl was escorted in and out of the courthouse Thursday by a plainclothes police officer, sources said.
If this is how even the girl's own family is going to end up treating her, she shouldn't remain in such a community, and I think some of the articles I read on the subject hint that she has left them. I know that there are some people who end up disillusioned with and leave Haredi communities because they don't feel comfy, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Satmar community has the most defectors thanks to their refusal to respect the dignity of victims like the poor woman in this case.
Update: The Algemeiner says the intimidators in this case should be ashamed of themselves.