Brooklyn Orthodox Leader’s Sex Abuse Trial Resumes; Accuser’s Mother Takes Stand
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Testimony continued Monday in the sex abuse case of a prominent ultra Orthodox leader in Brooklyn’s Satmar community.
The mother of the now-17-year-old accuser testified that she trusted counselor Nechemya Weberman. But the woman testified that she had no idea that her daughter was locked in a room alone with a man, which is a clear violation of Satmar law.
WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reports
The mother testified that it was always a struggle to keep her youngest daughter out of trouble at her Satmar school because the girl fought modesty rules.
It was the school that ordered the girl to continue counseling with Weberman, 54, or be kicked out, WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported.
The school reportedly considered the accuser an angry, damaged child with pure hatred in her heart, Cornell reported.
The mother testified that her daughter is lovely, respectful, understanding and smart.
On cross-examination, the mother was reluctant to admit that she told her daughter that Weberman was responsible for getting her boyfriend arrested on statutory rape charges.
Weberman’s defense team last week argued that the sexual abuse charges were brought by the accuser as revenge for betraying her trust, Cornell reported.
The mother eventually testified that she told her daughter that she suspected Weberman was involved in getting the boy arrested but that she had only recently come to that conclusion, Cornell reported.
Weberman is on trial for allegedly molesting the girl from the time she was just 12 years old in 2007 through 2010.
On Friday, the alleged victim testified that he showed her pornography and forced her to re-enact the sex acts in an isolated room, according to the New York Daily News.
On the witness stand, she testified that Weberman was respected as a leader whom everyone knew and was a member of the modesty committee that enforces morality rules, the Daily News reported.
The victim testified earlier last week that Weberman kept molesting her despite her resistance.
“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.
At one point, the teen said she stopped eating for three days. The accuser said she was so depressed she couldn’t even talk to Weberman.
The teen also described another incident in which she claimed Weberman came to her home.
“He got into bed with me and I wanted to die,” the teen stated in court last Tuesday.
She said she eventually was able to tell a school counselor what was taking place.
On Thursday, defense attorney Michael Farkus claimed the now-married accuser fabricated the charges to get back at Weberman for betraying her confidence.
The defense pointed out that one day after she told Weberman she was romantically involved with a boyfriend, which is strictly forbidden in the Satmar community, her father had the boy arrested.
What the jury did not hear in court was that the father followed Weberman’s suggestion to install a hidden camera to spy on his daughter’s romantic encounters with the boy, Cornell reported.
The charges against the young man were later dropped.
Also during the trial last week, nearly 100 observers had their cell phones confiscated after some were caught snapping photos inside the courtroom.
The angry judge scolded the observers, saying a crime was committed inside the courtroom when people took cell phone pictures of the sex abuse accuser as she testified.
Three ultra Orthodox men, identified as supporters of Weberman, were arrested on charges they photographed the accuser as she testified.
They were arraigned Friday evening and face contempt charges for taking pictures in a courtroom without a court order.
Weberman has pleaded not guilty to charges of committing a criminal sex act, rape, endangering the welfare of a child and sexual abuse.
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