June 22, 2012

Accuser offered $500k for silence in NY abuse case

6-22-2012 New York:

A teenage girl was offered $500,000 to leave the country instead of testifying in an upcoming sex abuse case against her former spiritual counselor in Brooklyn's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, prosecutors said Thursday.

Abraham Rubin, 48, offered the bribe to the girl and her boyfriend, telling them justice would be better served if they didn't testify in the case against Nechemya Weberman, prosecutors said. Three other men also tried to harass the accuser into silence, they said.

Weberman, 53, has been accused of molesting the girl from ages 12 to 15. He has pleaded not guilty to sex abuse charges, and he has been embraced in his community and defended as wrongly accused. The girl has been threatened, ostracized and called a slut and a troublemaker, family friends said.

Both the accuser and her boyfriend could be called to testify in the case. A court date was set for July 18.

The rallying around Weberman, suspected witness intimidation and ostracizing of his accuser reflects long-held beliefs in this insular community that problems should be dealt with from within.

Assistant District Attorney Josh Hanshaft said the four men had no regard for the criminal justice system and wanted to handle the case their way. They "tried to make the witnesses disappear so the case would be dropped," he said.

Rubin offered to provide them with counsel on how to be uncooperative at the trial, prosecutors said. Meanwhile, brothers Jacob, Joseph and Hertzka Berger threatened and pressured the accuser and her boyfriend, telling him that they would take away the man's kosher license at his Brooklyn restaurant if he didn't persuade her to drop the case, prosecutors said. Jacob Berger eventually went to the boyfriend's restaurant and tore down the license, according to the indictment. For the rest of this story: by sltToday.com

No comments: