Main | Tuesday, January 22, 2013

BROOKLYN: Hasidic Leader Sentenced To 103 Years For Child Molestation

A Brooklyn judge today meted out a harsh sentence against the Hasidic leader who was convicted last month on 59 felony counts of child molestation.
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice John Ingram handed Nechemya Weberman a 103-year-sentence without the prospect of parole. "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," District Attorney Charles Hynes said in a statement. 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, the district attorney's office said. "I suffered great psychological damage and fell into severe depression," said the victim, whom CNN is not naming because she is a minor. The case brought scrutiny on the Satmar Hasidic community, many of whom live in the insular Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of South Williamsburg, Brooklyn. "We honestly and truly believe that this was a setup," said defense attorney George Farkas after sentencing. "He knows that his future lies in the appellate process."
According to the victim's testimony during the trial, Weberman forced the girl to reenact scenes he'd seen in porn videos.  Weberman reportedly sat on his community's "female modesty" committee, which enforces his sect's rigid dress codes and its demand that women show deference to men. Four other members of the sect were charged with witness intimidation during the trial.

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