Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Therapist Sentenced to 103 Years for Child Sexual Abuse

"An unlicensed therapist who is a respected member of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn was sentenced on Tuesday to 103 years in prison for repeatedly sexually abusing a young woman, beginning the attacks when she was 12. The therapist, Nechemya Weberman, 54, a member of the Satmar Hasidic community of Williamsburg, did not react as the judge sentenced him. The victim, now 18, who delivered an impassioned statement asking for the maximum sentence to be imposed, dabbed away tears.

“The message should go out to all victims of sexual abuse that your cries will be heard and justice will be done,” Justice John G. Ingram of State Supreme Court said before imposing the sentence, which was close to the longest the law allows. Justice Ingram praised the young victim’s “courage and bravery in coming forward.”

The proceedings were closely watched, as this was the first high-profile case against child sexual abuse that the Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, had brought against a member of the politically powerful Satmar ultra-Orthodox community during his more than two decades in office. This sentence is the longest a Brooklyn court has imposed on a member of the ultra-Orthodox community for sexual abuse of a child.

As Mr. Weberman was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs, he turned to his wife and gave her a nod and a small smile."


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