Sex Abuse Trial Of Brooklyn Orthodox Leader Continues
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The sex abuse trial against a prominent Brooklyn ultra Orthodox counselor continued Wednesday.
The young blonde kept her cool as she was cross-examined by Nechemya Weberman’s defense attorney Michael Farkas, WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported.
“He would kiss me and feel me up,” the witness testified.
WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reports
She insisted she was too frightened to tell anyone what was happening, since the alleged abuse started when she was just 12 years old, she testified.
“I didn’t know how to fight back,” the young woman told the jury.
But Farkas argued that the teen spoke up to her parents when she was sent to a female therapist who she didn’t like and stopped seeing, Cornell reported.
She testified that she never made such a complaint about Weberman, despite her accusations.
Farkas also suggested that the now-17-year-old victim brought charges of sexual abuse against the counselor out of a desire for revenge because she believes he told her father that she had a relationship with a boyfriend, something forbidden in the ultra Orthodox Satmar community.
The father had that boy arrested and, when asked in court who she blamed, she did not say Weberman.
“I blamed my father,” the young woman testified on Wednesday.
The ultra Orthodox community that first rallied around Weberman, 54, is now standing behind the victim, the family said.
“God forbid there are other children who are abused and molested, this is a message to all children to speak up because we are not going to allow it and that’s the main thing – that she is suffering so much,” the victim’s aunt Giddy Goldman told Cornell.
Victim advocate Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz said that it is a sign that attitudes within the community are evolving.
“Look around the courtroom and you’ll see that things are changing. When we had Weberman’s first hearing, we had about 15, 20 people. Now we have a packed courtroom, people are waiting in the halls,” Horowitz told Cornell.
Rabbi Horowitz said the change shows that the victim who exposed sexual abuse is now viewed as heroic, not a villain, Cornell reported.
Some who tried to get the now-17 year old victim to drop the charges are now standing with her, along with others from the ultra Orthodox community who now say they were molested, Cornell reported.
On Tuesday, the teen testified, claiming the counseling turned into undressing, touching and other sexual contact.
The teen told a packed courtroom Tuesday that from her first meeting with Weberman in an office next to his Clinton Hill apartment, the much-respected Orthodox Jewish leader sexually abused her.
“He proceeded to kiss me. He touched me…I yelled for him to stop. He said, ‘You see, if you yell stop, I stop. I’m not doing anything wrong. I’m not doing anything you don’t want me to do,'” the victim said Tuesday.
But she testified that Weberman continued to molest her.
“Saying stop didn’t seem to work….I didn’t know how to fight back. I was numb,” the teen said.
In fact, she said it happened every time they met from 2007 — when she was 12 — through 2010.
The accuser said that Weberman would triple lock his door before the abuse, which allegedly took place twice a week for the three years.
Lawyers for Weberman have argued that the allegations being brought against their client are false.
Weberman is expected to testify in his own defense later in the week.
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