Yesterday, a Hasidic leader from an insular community of ultra-Orthodox Jews in South Williamsburg was found guilty of sexually abusing a young girl for three years between 2007 and 2010. A Brooklyn jury found convicted Nechemya Weberman, 54, on all 59 counts. The girl is now a married 18-year-old woman, and she told the Post's Andrea Peyser, "I can’t wait until he’s in prison... I can’t wait until someone stronger, who weighs 350 pounds more, holds him down, lets him know how it feels to be so helpless."
The girl was accused of being immodest (having her top shirt button unbuttoned and wearing thin tights) in the ultra-strict Satmar Hasidic sect and her school told her parents that she should see Weberman for counseling. While her parents said they paid $12,800 for counseling, Weberman was never a licensed therapist. The victim says that he forced her to perform oral sex and act out porn films. She told Peyser that at her first meeting with him, he touched her under her clothes, "I asked him to stop. I felt invaded. He stopped for a minute. Then he started again."
Three times a week, she spent time in his study or traveling upstate with him. He got increasingly aggressive.
Then, it got unimaginably worse. “He burned me with a lighter on my stomach,’’ she said almost in a whisper, recalling a terrible incident that never made it into trial testimony. Why? “He found it arousing,” she said matter-of-factly.
“He told me, ‘When you go home, you put on peanut butter,’ ” she said. “Peanut butter!” her husband cried. “I stayed in my bed for three days. I didn’t get out of bed. I didn’t eat. I just wanted to die. I was 13, I think.”
Weberman denies all this, and his lawyer says they plan to appeal, "We firmly believe that the jury got an unfairly sanitized version of the facts and, as a result, the truth did not come out. The struggle to clear an innocent man will continue in full force." But the Brooklyn DA's office hailed the verdict, with DA Charles Hynes declaring, "The veil of secrecy has been lifted. It's very clear to me that it's only going to get better for people who were victimized in these various communities."
Weberman is currently being held without bail at Rikers. His sentencing is in January.