Hasidic molest monster guilty


Guilty of all 59 sex charges * ‘Happy tears’ for accuser * B’klyn Satmars rip verdict

UNHOLY MONSTER: Hasidic leader Nechemya Weberman (center) sits emotionless in Brooklyn Supreme Court yesterday after he was convicted of sexually molesting a teenager.
He’s guilty as sin.
A Hasidic leader so powerful in his Brooklyn community he never dreamed he’d be punished for sexually abusing a young girl was convicted yesterday after his brave young victim dared to testify against him.
Nechemya Weberman, 54, had forced himself on the child for three years starting when she was just 12.
He was convicted of all 59 counts and faces 25 years alone on the top count: prolonged sexual contact with a child. 
The victim — now a married 18-year-old — testified she had been afraid to report the abuse because “I thought they would never believe me since he was supposedly a god in Williamsburg.”
Weberman sat silently, his face expressionless, as the jury foreman repeated “guilty’’ 59 times.
He was led from the courtroom in Brooklyn Supreme Court with his hands cuffed behind him.
“We’re all crying with happy tears, each and every one of us,” said the victim’s husband, who escorted her to court every day she testified.
“She’s been through a lot, but she’s starting to have peace, and she will recover, and I’ll stand by her side to the end.”
Asked whether he was worried about the consequences of a Weberman acquittal, he said, “When God is witness, no one can lie.”
The explosive trial shined a light on the insular and cloistered world of the Satmar Hasidic sect.
The victim said she had first been sent to Weberman for counseling after she failed to dress according to Satmar standards of modesty.
Witnesses told a riveted courtroom about practices no one would think could go on in New York — like the masked “modesty” squad that was allowed to invade another girl’s home, storm into her room and confiscate her cellphone.
“We firmly believe that the jury got an unfairly sanitized version of the events. As a result, the truth didn’t come out. The struggle will continue to free this innocent man,” said defense attorney George Farkas, referring to information that was barred from trial.
The defense will appeal.
“The deliberations were too short for a case with so many complicated issues that raised doubt. I don’t believe the jury properly considered them,” said co-counsel Michael Farkas, George Farkas’ son.
One Satmar man fumed, “It wasn’t a fair trial. There wasn’t any evidence,” and stormed out of the courtroom after the verdict.
Outside of court, prosecutors said Weberman had many other victims who have come forward but who are afraid to go public.
“There’s at least one other victim within the statute of limitations,” said Assistant District Attorney Kevin O’Donnell, who explained the difficulty of prosecuting abuse in the Hasidic community.
“It’s definitely more difficult because everybody who comes forward is afraid to be seen even walking into our office.”
At a press conference, District Attorney Charles Hynes said, “The victim in this case showed great courage.”
“I would hope that the Satmar community would do the same as the Lubavitcher community,” he said, referring to the decree the rival Lubavitch sect issued ordering anybody aware of sexual abuse to report it immediately.
Hynes also said his office would seek to have Weberman sentenced on the top count and may ask Judge John Ingram to order the sentences to run consecutively instead of concurrently.
The case was extremely important for Hynes’ office, which has faced criticism for dragging its feet on prosecutions against sex abusers in the politically powerful Hasidic community.
“The veil of secrecy has been lifted. The wall that has stood in these Brooklyn communities has been broken through,” Hynes said.
Abe Rubinstein, an Orthodox Jew who attended much of the trial, praised the verdict.
“Good day for the victims. Bad day for the molesters,” said Rubinstein, who says his son had also been abused.
The trial made news even before it started.
In June, four ultra-Orthodox men were busted for offering the victim $500,000 to drop the case.
Two others ripped down the kosher certification at her then-boyfriend’s, now husband’s, restaurant.
During the trial, four Satmar men were arrested for allegedly snapping photos of the victim on the stand and tweeting them out to Weberman supporters.
The courageous victim had taken center stage for four grueling days of testimony and cross-examination.
She recounted how she was sent to Weberman because she had talked to a neighborhood boy, because “my tights weren’t thick enough,” and because she asked teachers questions like, “How do you know God exists?”
She described the sexual abuse, including forced oral sex and orders to copy the movements in pornographic movies Weberman played on his computer.
The courtroom was packed with supporters of the victim, including women in traditional Orthodox dress who cried during the graphic testimony.

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