By Joanna Molloy (NY Daily News)
November 28, 2012
Court officers had to move an accused molester back into a courtroom in Brooklyn Supreme Court Wednesday after he appeared to menacingly stare at his teenage accuser through a glass door.
The 17-year-old girl was having a moment of peace in an interview room during recess in the trial of Nechemya Weberman, whom she has accused of sexually abusing her four times a week for three years starting from the time she was 12.
But when the beautiful teenager looked up, she saw Weberman, staring at her through the glass long enough to set the officers scrambling.
George Farkas, a member of Weberman’s defense team, was quick to call the menacing allegation “pure unadulterated bulls---.”
But Rabbi Yakov Horowitz told the Daily News, “I was there. I saw it.”
She was having none of it, heading calmly back to the witness stand in her Ugg boots and chic outfit, looking nothing like the covered-up daughter of the Satmar sect she once was. Now it was her turn to stare Weberman down, as she coolly answered lawyer Michael Farkas’ questions about a boyfriend she dared to have, known in court as Mr. S.
Farkas asked about her parents’ opposition to her romance.
What the jury didn’t hear was that the girl’s father, at Weberman’s suggestion, set up a video camera that recorded her lovemaking, and that the boyfriend was busted on statutory rape charges, later dropped. Weberman’s defense is that this girl, then 15, concocted her entire accusation in revenge for his betrayal.
It is difficult to imagine a girl more trapped in a free country. Weberman, 54 and a fellow member of the Satmar Hasidic sect, was not only her father’s business partner, he was her unlicensed therapist. Yeshiva officials sent her to him when she dared to wear sheer tights to school and write poetry. He insisted on seeing her four times a week, when the alleged abuse, including oral sex, took place.
There were no Satmars there to support the girl, but the court was filled with Lubavitcher and other Orthodox Jews.
“We are an insular community — with us it’s not six degrees of separation, it’s two or three,” said Ezra Max, a teacher. “So for children or young adults who’ve been abused, it’s an additional challenge for them to come forward.”
“I just think she’s so brave,” said a girl who identified herself as the best friend of the witness. “I’m just so proud of her.”