No suspects are in custody after yesterday's attack on an ultra-Orthodox Jewish advocate for sex abuse victims in South Williamsburg, but the victim, Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, says he recognized the assailant as the son of a man he has accused of abusing boys. Rosenberg—a fixture at the trial of Nechemya Weberman, a leader in Williamsburg's Satmar community who was convicted Monday of 59 counts of sexual abuse—was walking on Roebling Street when his assailant walked up to him and, Rosenberg alleges, threw a cup of bleach in his face.
"He taps on my shoulder, he says 'whoops' and throws it in my face," Rosenberg told a Daily News reporter at Woodhull hospital. Rosenberg immediately flushed his eyes out with water, and in an interview last night, he says his doctor told him he would be blind in one eye if he had not done that. A relative tells the Times Rosenberg sustained a corneal abrasion to his left eye and chemical burns around his eye.
After his release, Rosenberg gave this video interview (below) which was shared on Failed Messiah. Regarding his work publicly identifying perpetrators of sexual abuse in the ultra-Orthodox community, Rosenberg was asked if he'd ever made a mistake in publicly identifying an innocent person. He denied ever making such an error, explaining, "Every child before he goes up from one class to the other, he knows [who] is a pedophile. And he says, 'If you fall into that guy's hands, he's a pig. He's gonna pull your pants down.'... Everyone knows who is doing it."
Rosenberg has been ostracized by some community leaders for his advocacy, and many in the neighborhood still believe Weberman and others are innocent. Notices printed in local newspapers have declared, in Hebrew, "The public must beware, and stay away from [Rosenberg], and push him out of our camp."
Yesterday, Rosenberg told the Times that because of the Weberman verdict, "Everyone is so crazy right now." But the craziness doesn't sound so recent—two years ago he was shot with a BB gun. "I went to the police and said I want you to make a report," Rosenberg recalls. "And they said, 'You don't need a report, a stone must have fell down from the roof."