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Wednesday, December 12, 2012 

Rabbi Rosenberg's attacker turns himself in to police

The man who attacked rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg with bleach in Williamsburg the other day has surrendered to the NYPD:
A man accused of throwing bleach at a Williamsburg rabbi who advocates for sexual-abuse victims in the neighborhood's Satmar Hasidic community was arrested on Wednesday afternoon, New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

Escorted by his lawyer, Meilech Schnitzler, 36 years old, turned himself in to police at the 90th precinct stationhouse in Williamsburg a day after Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg was doused with a cup of Clorox, Mr. Kelly said. He was charged with assault, menacing, criminal mischief and criminal possession of a weapon. He was awaiting arraignment Wednesday afternoon.

Mr. Rosenberg, 62, runs a website and hotline that encourages victims of sex abuse in the Hasidic community to come forward and report the crimes to the police, and he has been ostracized by the Jewish community as a result.

The attack against Mr. Rosenberg comes as tensions remain high in the Satmar community after Nechemya Weberman, a prominent counselor in the insular ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, was found guilty of repeatedly sexually abusing a girl under his care over a three-year period starting when she was 12.
I'm glad the defendant here has wisely turned himself in. But while they do mention this is pertinent to the Satmar community, I don't like how they simply say "Jewish community" here. It's not the Jewish community that's shunned him, it's just the Satmars who have. The victim received plenty of support at this trial from other Jewish community members.
Prosecutors have complained about intimidation in the Satmar community, with some of the tactics at issue during Mr. Weberman's trial. Authorities have kept in close contact with Mr. Weberman's victim and her family since the trial, providing her with higher level of protection than most victims because of the community backlash in the case, a law-enforcement official said. [...]

The lead prosecutor on the case, Kevin O'Donnell, said on Monday that several of the victim's supporters told the district attorney's office that they received phone calls and messages from friends asking whose side they were on in the trial. "Anybody stepping forward out of their community to come to our office runs the risk of being ostracized and pretty much being removed from the community," he said.
They really shouldn't be reluctant to make an exodus from such a community if this is how they're going to act. Of all the ultra-Orthodox sects that could be disrespectful of law and order, they top the list. There's plenty of other sects with more common sense they could journey to instead, and I think it's high time they do.

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