In Support of the Victim

by Hershey (Boorey) Deutsch
September 6, 2012

Editors note by Yerachmiel Lopin – Boorey Deutsch is engaged to be married to the brave young woman who will be testifying against Nechemyah Weberman when he is tried for sexually abusing her between the time she was 12 and 15. The trial is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, October 30, 2012. He and his kallah (fiancée) have been given a very hard time by the community for pressing charges but they have been steadfast in their pursuit of justice. Many rabbis in the community signed a public letter proclaiming Weberman an innocent victim of a bilbul (blood libel) and urged people in the community to contribute to Weberman’s defense fund. A large fundraiser was held at the Continental catering hall and there was a counter-demonstration by supporters of the victim outside. Later four supporters of Weberman were arrested for offering Boorey and his kallah $500,000 to go to Israel instead of testifying. They also threatened to destroy Boorey’s business, a kosher restaurant, by making sure it could not get a hashgachah (kosher certification). They delivered on that promise and his business failed. Nevertheless he and his fiancée are determined to fully support the prosecution of Weberman. Read what he has to say about this sad situation where the molester is defended and the victim is defamed. In subsequent post I will be calling on my readers to offer support by attending the trial and offering other kinds of support. (Parts of an earlier version of this essay appeared under a pseudonym in other places).

The Klal’s (community) knee jerk reaction to sex abuse accusations is shocking. They are conditioned to be upset about the accusations and feel sorry for the accused. They don’t spend a second thinking about the horrendous implications for the victim. Let me back up a second. That is only true if the accused is another member of the klal. However, if the same victim is abused, attacked or molested by a secular Jew or a non-Jew then the victim is immediately believed and there is uproar in the community. “How dare they touch one of our own? How dare they violate this entire community?”

Did I say shocking? I should have said, reprehensible. It is still the same ben or bas yisroel (Jewish boy or girl) who was violated, humiliated, hurt, abused, used, disgraced, harassed, threatened and victimized. By turning a deaf ear and a blind eye to their pain and truth you, yes all of you, their brothers and sisters, neighbors, friends, teachers, mechanchim (educators), and rabbonim (rabbis) victimize them all over again. You not only double their pain, you compound it over and over again on a daily basis when you don’t believe them and, even worse, support the abuser.

You so nonchalantly make obtuse comments like “look who the accuser is….” First, let’s take a look at the abusers. What do you really think an abuser looks like? Do you think an abuser has a certain look about them? Do you think an abuser walks around with a sign that says “Be smart, stay away from me, I’m an abuser”? Do you think they look like the scum of the earth that they are?

An abuser looks like a father, a brother, a neighbor, an uncle, a cousin, a friend, a grocer, a baker, a sofer, a plumber, a school bus driver, a rebbe, a singer, an accountant, a lawyer, an author, the person that sits next to you on the bus or train, or next to you in shul (synagogue). It could be anyone and there is no way to recognize them from the way they look, the way they speak, or the way they act in public.

You cannot vouch for them in any way, shape or form. You are not with them 24/7; you are not their shomer (chaperone), and you are not inside their head. Would you have believed that the principal of a girls’ yeshiva would be molesting his own daughters at home and then getting his sons to join him in the molesting. Let’s understand this and understand that it happens. It really happens even though we don’t want to believe it. It is a horrible thing to have to believe about people, but there are countless children and adults who had gone through this in their own homes, who are now afraid of their own rooms and beds.

A few years ago I spoke to a man from Williamsburg who was running for political office. I asked him what he planned to do about molestation. He looked at me curiously. Then he said, “Some of my son’s best friends were molested”. I was shocked. He said it as if it was a rite of passage and an accepted form of child rearing. I of course asked, “You knew your son’s friends were molested and you did nothing?” I was shocked.

What happens in the outside world also happens in our world. We are all human and our people succumb to their yetzer horah (evil inclinations) like other human beings. We are afflicted with the same illnesses. We can’t just ignore it in the hope that it will go away just because it hurts us and makes us feels dirty and. It doesn’t go away: it gets worse. If we really want it to go away, we have to acknowledge it, address it and work on it.

Now let’s look at the accusers, the victims. Abusers never choose victims that anyone will believe. Get it? Let me say that again; abusers/molesters choose their victims very carefully. They look for the most vulnerable victims. Whom would you believe if they came forward? Would you believe the Rosh Yeshiva’s child? Probably? That’s why they never prey on the children of the Rosh Yeshiva. Would you believe the children of the wealthiest man in the neighborhood? Those kids are pretty safe. Would you believe the kids from the most dysfunctional family in the neighborhood? No? Why not? Oh, you would say, the family is all mixed up, the kid is probably lying. That is the kind of kid abusers befriend. Those are the kids they groom and go after, because they know that if those kids tell, no one will believe them.

Now, how do you feel about not believing the child? How do you feel about being tricked by the abuser before he even attacked the child? He was thinking about you first. He was thinking about how to fool you before he even chose his victim. He was figuring out how to fool theolam (the public) so he could get away with it.

That is the mindset of the molester. He plans everything from tricking his supporters to molesting his victims. He is a phony, a pretender, a trickster and a monster. You think you know him but you don’t. You have been fooled by his act and you don’t know the faker behind the mask.

You know the saying: you can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but you can’t fool Hashem (G-d). He is all-seeing and all-knowing. Da lifnei mi atah omed (know before whom you stand)! We all stand before Hashem 24/7. He does not take vacations, lunch breaks or coffee breaks. His eyesight is better than 20/20; his hearing is perfect. He sees and hears everything. He does not turn away for 20 minutes while these so called tzadikim (righteous and holy) and chashuvah (respectable) people do their dirty crimes. He is not fooled by excuses. He doesn’t blame the victim. He does not forgive or forget.

There is a reason why more and more victims/survivors are gaining the courage to come forward; Hashem is filling them with courage. They could not do it without Hashem’s help. Without their emunah (faith) and bitachon (trust) that Hashem would help them they would not risk exposing themselves.

What do they gain from this? Why are they coming forward? They do it to put these monsters out of business, to save other children from them and to keep others from going through nightmares and torture.

Could you do that? Could you be a hero? Yes, I say hero, because they have suffered terrible repercussions. Would you want your personal business exposed for all to see? Do you think it is an honor to walk around with a sign that announces I am a victim or survivor of abuse?

Do you know how emotionally damaging is to be victimized? Do you have any idea how one’s world is turned upside down by such trauma? Try to imagine just being frightened by someone breaking into your home and then multiply that a million times. Would you enjoy being controlled, abused, manipulated, threatened and forced to keep that all to yourself? Now imagine that it was your innocent young child going and you didn’t know. These victims/survivors are putting themselves on the line to try and save your kids from going through the same torture.

I take tremendous personal offense at the shmutz (filth) and lies that are invented to smear the reputation of victims/survivors. It makes me sick when people vouch for the abusers even though they don’t know them and certainly cannot vouch for them because they weren’t there when the abuse took place. Only the abuser and his victim were present and the only other witness is Hashem.

As each additional victim of the same abuser comes forward, it becomes more and more ridiculous that the klal refuses protect other children from him. Instead it but finds reasons to back him and call the victims liars. The most ridiculous question is “Where is the evidence?” The evidence is the eyewitness report by a victim. Do you really think a molester is going to invite guests to watch what he does so there can be witnesses? Does a burglar leave a receipt and a signed thank you note?

Here’s the bottom line. Adults with this illness have a choice. They can get help for themselves before they go out and hurt innocent victims or they can act on their taivos (evil inclinations) and hurt others. That is their choice. Victims have no choice. They don’t choose to be victims. They don’t ask to be abused and victimized.

We as a community also have a choice. We can face the truth and support the victims and teach all the abusers that we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. This will send a clear cut message to others with the same inclination to get help and stay away from kids. We can send the message that we will believe the kids and we will not protect the molester; we will remove him from society no matter who he is.

The Weberman case is very clear-cut. If you choose to ask the right questions you will see that the victim is telling the truth and the accused has a lot to hide. By the way there are other victims of Weberman coming forward. Let’s start with the fact that he saw his accuser and other girls alone in his locked apartment on Classon Avenue.

A frum (observant) man who violates the laws of yichud (seclusion with the opposite sex) cannot be trusted. It is my opinion that the community is really trying to support and protect the school more than the molester. Why should Satmar’s UTA be protected. They sent a young vulnerable girl to be counseled by an untrained, unlicensed, unsupervised counselor for sessions beyichud (in seclusion). Our yeshivas won’t even hire male teachers in an environment where they can be supervised. If they were going to have him counsel her it should have been done in the school or in a home were there were others around. Why was he was permitted to do as he pleased in his very “private” office without the benefit of a shomeres (a chaperone such as a secretary with access to the office). Why was he allowed to drive her upstate on road trips with no one else in the car? Obviously the school can and most likely will be considered an accomplice to the crimes since they forced these sessions on the child and family with the threat of expulsion. As I write this, the school has still not complied with the request from the court for documents; they are at risk for contempt of court. The question remains what are they hiding and why are they not cooperating? In what way do those documents compromise them? Furthermore, in what way are they complicit in the crime?

According to Weberman the victim is seeking revenge because Weberman persuaded the father to make a video of an alleged inappropriate encounter. According to his attorney, Mr. Farkas, Weberman is in possession of this video. This is another eye opener. If this is true, why did Weberman hold on to such a tape instead of the father? Why in the world did the father allow him to hold on to it. If this video truly exists what has he been doing with this video since he took possession of it? This is truly the most vulgar and the most disgusting evidence of all. It truly reflects the truth of his crude inclinations and intentions. Any decent human being would have destroyed it or at least returned it to the parent when he stopped “counseling” their child, or in the best scenario advised the father to rent a safe deposit box and keep it off premises. But to keep it himself only proves that he is a menuval (salacious low life). It is sad that any frum attorney would stoop this low and engage in such a chilul Hashem (desecration of G-d’s name).

This victim and her family have suffered enough at the hands of her abuser, her former school and her community. Every person who chooses to support her in any way will be doing a tremendous chessed (kindness) and mitzvah (righteous deed) not only for her but also for themselves in the fight against this horrible machlah (plague) in our society.