Brooklyn, NY - Unlicensed Counselor Found Guilty In Orthodox Abuse Trial; Faces 117 Years
Last updated on: December 10, 2012 05:05 PM
Brooklyn, NY - A guilty verdict was handed down today in the emotionally grueling two-week sex abuse trial of Nechemya Weberman, 54, the Hasidic, unlicensed counselor who was accused of sexually abusing a now 18-year-old teen sent to him for psychological treatment over a three-year period beginning when she was 12.
In a packed courtroom, the jury of six men and six women found Weberman guilty on all 60 counts of sexual abuse and child endangerment — the most serious that he sexually assaulted the young woman over a sustained period of time from when she was 12 to 15 years old. The jury deliberated for a total of five hours over just two days.
Weberman faces a total of 117 years. Weberman was remanded and he will be sentenced before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice John Ingram on January 9 at 10:00 AM. According to the NY Post his defense lawyer didn’t even bother asking for bail pending sentencing.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Defense attorney George Farkas said, “We firmly believe that the jury got an unfairly sanitized version of the facts. As a result, the truth did not come out, and the struggle clear an innocent man will continue in full force.”
The victim testified that the abuse took place dozens of times in Weberman’s Williamsburg home and office. Weberman testified that he “never, ever inappropriately touched” the girl. When asked by his attorney what he was “looking to do to her,” Weberman replied, “To save her life.”
During the trial, a parade of witnesses took the stand to testify both for and against the teenage victim. Defense counsel tried to paint the victim as a heretic and “a free spirit”, claiming she only brought allegations against Weberman as revenge for trying to have her boyfriend arrested on statutory rape charges.
Weberman opted to take the stand in his own defense on Wednesday, in what many thought was a risky legal move.
According to the Wall Street Journal (http://on.wsj.com/11LiQf2), Weberman testified that he first began a career in counseling after helping a relative work through some marital issues. By the year 2000, Weberman said he was providing “rabbinical counseling” to people full-time, though he had not undergone any formal training to be a counselor, nor is he ordained as a rabbi. He testified that clients were referred to him from the Satmar Va’ad Ha’Tznius, a Hasidic modesty squad (http://bit.ly/UpRmXa).
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