Friday, June 22, 2012

4 arrested for $500k bribe & intimidation in Weberman case

NYTimes  The Brooklyn distt attorney, facing an avalanche of complaints about his handling of sexual abuse allegations in the ultra-Orthodox community, on Thursday charged four men with attempting to silence an accuser by offering her and her boyfriend a $500,000 bribe, and threatening her boyfriend’s business. 

The district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, alleged that the men were part of an effort by the community to protect a prominent member of the Satmar Hasidic community, Nechemya Weberman, who has been accused of 88 counts of sexual misconduct, including oral sex with a child younger than 13 years old. The charges all involve a single victim, a young woman who was referred by her school to get counseling by Mr. Weberman, and then alleges she was abused by him during therapy sessions. 

The executive bureau chief of the district attorney’s rackets division, Josh Hanshaft, said the men had been “telling witnesses to forget what they know, not to come to court, to disappear,” and said prosecutors had “clear, substantial evidence” that part of the plan to silence witnesses involved offering money to dissuade their testimony. He said of Mr. Rubin, “He has no regard for the system. He thumbs his nose at the system,” and of the Berger brothers: “They have gone and destroyed property. There have been threatening phone calls.” He said prosecutors were concerned that the men might now flee to Israel.

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