A Williamsburg rabbi and sex abuse whistleblower is outraged over the Brooklyn DA's handling of its case against a man who nearly blinded him in 2012. Nuchem Rosenberg, who has been ostracized by the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community for publicly identifying perpetrators of sexual abuse, was attacked on a Williamsburg sidewalk by a man who threw bleach in his face one December afternoon in 2012. The suspect, Meilech Schnitzler, subsequently turned himself over to police, and today it was announced that he will avoid prison as part of a plea deal. Schnitzler had faced up to 7 years if convicted.
"We changed the DA but we didn't change any behavior in the DA's office," Rosenberg fumed to the Daily News today, referring to former Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes, who lost a hard-fought election last year to new DA Ken Thompson. "The guy walks free... where is our protection?"
Schnitzler, 38, allegedly attacked Rosenberg because his father was named on Rosenberg's website as a pedophile. "He taps on my shoulder, he says 'whoops' and throws it in my face," Rosenberg said after the incident. He immediately flushed his eyes out with water, and insists his doctor told him he would be blind in one eye if he had not done that. A relative told the Times that Rosenberg sustained a corneal abrasion to his left eye and chemical burns around his eye.
Schnitzler had no prior criminal history and will serve five years of probation. His lawyer tells the News that his client is simply "thrilled." A spokesperson for the Brooklyn DA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.