NJ.COM A Brooklyn man, testifying in the trial of a Lakewood rabbi accused of ordering beatings to extract Jewish divorces, described how he and his roomate were awakened and beaten for hours.
The testimony offered in the seventh day of the federal conspiracy trial of rabbi Mendel Epstein, did not directly link the religious leader to participating in the Aug. 22, 2011, attack, but it connected his son, who is also charged in the indictment, to the attacks that federal prosecutors say were orchestrated to force the men into giving their wives divorces.[...]
Testifying to a jury of eight men and eight women before U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson in Trenton, Teitelbaum said he had been asleep in his Brooklyn basement apartment for nearly an hour after returning from his job at a local grocery store when he was awakened by a man who punched him in the face. [...]
When he wasn't screaming, he could hear other men beating his roommate, Usher Chaimowitz, who had been asleep in the other bed in the room, and ordering him to grant his wife a Jewish religious divorce, known as a get, he told Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Wolfe.
He said the attackers knocked loose four of his teeth. When he asked why they were beating him, he said, one of his attackers told him, "Woe is the villain; woe is his neighbor."
After beating him in the bedroom, Teitelbaum's attackers dragged him, with his arms and legs bound, into the kitchen, where they cut off his pajamas and covered his head and his lower body with towels, he said. [...]
Teitelbaum said the beating lasted about two hours, after which he and his roommate were able to free themselves. [...]