Skeptic News: Sex abuse accusations stir uproar in Hasidic sect

From: NY Daily News

Hundreds of members in Satmar sect backing Nechemya Weberman, 53, who is set to be tried on charges of forcing girl to perform sex acts

Nechemya Weberman served as a ‘modesty committee’ counselor  to the accuser, who was 12 when she began sessions with her.  Nechemya Weberman, 53, is charged with 88 counts of sexual misconduct for allegedly forcing a teenage girl to repeatedly perform sex acts on him when she was between 12 and 15. Weberman is a prominent Hasidic counselor, whose ancestor is credited with founding the first yeshiva in Brooklyn. “It’s going to be a very interesting trial,” said one of the seven attorneys who will argue Weberman’s high-stakes case. All are bound by a judge’s gag order, and declined to discuss details.

Since coming forward last year, the woman, now 18, and her husband have allegedly been the target of a massive intimidation effort, which advocates have argued has long been an obstacle to reporting such cases in the community. More than 1,000 men showed up at a Williamsburg hall this spring to raise $500,000 for Weberman’s legal defense.

But the couple has not wavered in their resolve, even after one man allegedly offered them $500,000 in exchange for their silence, and suggested they flee to Israel. Three other men ripped the husband’s kosher certificate from his restaurant, causing him to shutter the business.

The incidents led to Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’ filing the most serious witness intimidation indictments ever within the community, against the four men in July. The issue of witness intimidation — common in Orthodox enclaves — was highlighted earlier this year in a series of articles that led to criticism of how they  handle molestation cases within their community.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes has said tha tintimidation of victims and their kin is rampant in that community

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