News

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish counsellor gets life sentence for sexual abuse

FOLLOWING our report last December about the sexual abuse trial ofNechemya Weberman, we learn today that the New York Hasidic Jewish counsellor has received a jail sentence totalling 103 years without the prospect of parole.

Weberman

Nechemya Weberman

Weberman, 54, according to this report, was sentenced by Justice John Ingram in the Brooklyn Supreme Court. He was found guilty on 59 counts, including sexual conduct against a girl he was advising over the course of three years.

District Attorney Charles Hynes said in a statement:

The abuse of a child cannot be swept under the rug or dealt with by insular groups believing only they know what is best for their community.

The abuse began in 2007, when the girl’s parents hired Weberman to help their then-12-year-old daughter. It continued – mostly in his office – until 2010.

Said the victim,

I suffered great psychological damage and fell into severe depression.

The case brought scrutiny on the Satmar Hasidic community, many of whom live in the insular Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of South Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Said defence attorney George Farkas after sentencing:

We honestly and truly believe that this was a setup. He [Weberman] knows that his future lies in the appellate process.

The case came to light when four men – one named Lemon Juice – were arrested and accused of trying to bribe the victim and her boyfriend to get them to drop the case against Weberman, a spokesman for the district attorney said.

Hat tip: Canada Dave

 

16 Responses to “Ultra-Orthodox Jewish counsellor gets life sentence for sexual abuse”

  1. remigius says:

    103 years without parole! Oh, come on. What threat is a 157 year old man?

  2. Broga says:

    Men like Weberman present with a reassuring gravitas which is not easy to pierce. I can well imagine him presenting well to the parents, deceiving them and leading them into delivering their 12 year old daughter into his hands. The sustained treachery against trusting parents, as well as his paedophile activities, places him beyond sympathy. He knew what he was doing, he calculated and schemed, and he deserves the sentence handed down.

    I hope this condign punishment serves as a frightener to others contemplating similar activities.

  3. Broga says:

    How do people keep getting taken in by these “ultra” types? Do the parents still trust Hasidic counsellors? Will others question what they are placing their trust in? I wish I could be confident they would.

    remigus and the 103 year sentence. I suppose he will just have to serve as many as he can. Like you I do wonder at the point of these impossibly long sentences. Considering the influence of religion in the USA I wonder if he will win his appeal. The cloak of religious sanctity being spread over him with cries that he has repented.

  4. Tim Davies says:

    If he’d been a Catholic priest, what’s the betting? 103 months? Probably much less.

  5. Robster says:

    Do the jews subscribe to that neferious afterlife nonsense like the idiot christians do? If so, he’s got nothing to worry about after 103 years! On the other hand…

  6. Buffy says:

    I’m guessing he wasn’t wearing his special glasses.

  7. RabbitOnAStick says:

    It is about time that this comment from the DA gets made and repeated [without losing it's importance or impact].

    “The abuse of a child cannot be swept under the rug or dealt with by insular groups believing only they know what is best for their community.”

  8. OurSally says:

    The point of the really long sentences is that they don’t get out again, even if a clever and expensive lawyer gets it reduced by 10 years or by 50%. American prison sentences often run serially not concurrently, so if someone, for example a serial murderer, gets off one murder on a technicality he still has to sit out 150 years for the others.

    Maybe the Brits could do this too?

  9. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    @OurSally: I wish our courts would get rid of concurrent sentences, they are a mockery. If I’ve committed 10 crimes, and I’m sentenced to 5 years for each crime, then I should be put away for 50 years not the 5 years that occurs under a concurrent sentence. That means that I’m effectively serving 6 months for each crime which belittles the crime.
    @ROAS: I couldn’t agree more, it doesn’t matter what religion we’re talking about or even if it is a religion, the abuse of children is a matter for the courts.

  10. Broga says:

    Sentencing: policy and practice. If he had been an RC priest he would probably have got away with moving to another parish. If a fundie USA christian in a southern state he would have got a few months and returned to repent, claim that the devil had misled him, preach that Jesus was now back in his life and he would then go on to greater success than ever. If in the UK he would have got probation.

  11. RabbitOnAStick says:

    Broga

    In the UK one receives a knighthood and a papal notification.

  12. sailor1031 says:

    Absurdly the young woman’s “therapy” was in order to make her “more religious” (NY Times).

    I don’t think Weberman should count on the appeal process too much. Typically appellate courts are concerned either with procedural errors at trial or matters affecting a broad range of cases (such as interpretation of a state constitution for example). A sentence significantly out of normal severity can be reduced but in Weberman’s case he’s been convicted of 59 separate offenses. So he’s just going to do 2.5 years per crime.

    @Barrie: good news for sure. Pity all states don’t do it.

  13. Broga says:

    @sailor1031: Thanks for the explanation. It really does look as if he is in the slammer for the long haul. In the UK child sexual abusers are often the targets for revenge of other prisoners who, I guess, retain a warm and sentimental feeling for their own children. The abuser often has to be segregated. I don’t know what the prison mores are the same in the USA. Whatever, life has definitely removed this man’s status.

    I suppose “more religious” means more deeply indoctrinated and infected with the toxin of religious belief.

  14. Trevor Blake says:

    If only Nechemya Weberman had instead sucked blood from the mutilated penis of infant boys, he would have the full protection of the state.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brit_milah#Metzitzah_b.27peh

    Hooray for religion!

  15. Robster says:

    Watching the Israel election coverage, a member of the household asked what the funny little hats are that all the people, male people it seems had on their heads. It was suggested as Israel is a sunny place that they are protection from the sun and skin cancers, but they’re a bit small for that. Are they a fashion item that’s caught on? Or do they have some other significance? I tell you what, the biggest business in Israel must be flogging silly little hats.