New York sex abuse trial takes a bizarre twist: Lemon Juice and two cohorts arrested
AN ultra-Orthodox Jew called Lemon Juice was arrested along with two other men for photographing the alleged victim of a Hasidic counselor who is on trial in Brooklyn for sexually abusing the young woman.
According to this report, Juice was charged alongside two others – Joseph Fried and Yonah Weissman – with criminal contempt for taking pictures during the explosive sex abuse trial of Satmar Hasidic counselor Nechemya Weberman, 54, described as a member of a powerful “modesty committee” which enforces the morality rules of the insular sect.
The alleged teenage victim of Weberman testified that he showed her pornography and then made her re-enact the sex acts during their closed-door molestation sessions.
Testifying in the Brooklyn Supreme Court, the beautiful blond 17-year-old said:
I had to copy what was in the porn. I remember it happening a lot.
During her fourth gruelling day on the stand, the teen detailed why she hid her torment, which is said to have lasted for three years, beginning in 2007 when she was 12. She said:
Everybody respected him, he was a leader.
Testimony by the recently married teenager was the key evidence in the high-profile trial that has been marked by incidents of purported intimidation.
Juice, Fried and Weissman were arraigned after they allegedly took photos inside the courtroom and posted them on the Internet.
Juice had legally changed his name from Joel Weingarten, according to his friends, though it was unclear why.
His lawyer, Leopold Gross, insisted his client was actually a supporter of the teen — though his motivations remained a mystery.
All three were held on $5,000 bond. A fourth man initially thought to have taken pictures was not charged due to lack of evidence.
In another bizarre twist, Fried, who runs a news service for the Satmar community, had been secretly recorded arguing with the alleged victim’s now-husband a few months ago. In the course of the conversation he said of the accused:
Even if it’s true, he shouldn’t go to jail. A Jew doesn’t belong in jail.
The contentious conversation in Yiddish came after three men stripped a kosher certificate from the husband’s restaurant, leading to harassment charges against them.
Another Hasid was accused of offering the couple $500,000 in hush money to make the case go away.
In this report, Juice said he supports the victim. At Juice’s first court appearance, Assistant District Attorney Joseph DiBenedetto said the men took the snaps “to intimidate the witness”, who was “ostracised in her community” for pursuing the case against Weberman.
But Fried’s lawyer Emily Kane said the allegations are “completely without merit”.
Juice, who changed his name fbout six years ago because of his lemony blond beard, also disputed the prosecutor’s allegation, saying he actually backs the teenager against Weberman.
Juice, who appears to be a few pips short of a grapefruit, intends to pass on his odd name on to whatever spogs he spawns, according to Chaim Steiner, 30, who works with him in a Williamsburg bakery.
He said he wants all of his kids to have different kind of vegetable and fruit names. Orange, cranberry, apple…