'Split right down the middle': Released juror would have acquitted Hasidic leader in underage sex trial, others torn
By Josh Saul (NY Post)
December 7, 2012
One of the alternate jurors released today from serving on the explosive sex trial of a prominent Hasidic leader said she would have voted to acquit — and two other dismissed jurors said they would only have voted to convict him on some of the charges.
“I didn’t have enough evidence to nail the person. No video, no DNA,” said the juror, a middle-aged black woman. “There wasn’t enough evidence for me. Both sides were a little shady.”
Nechmya Weberman, 54, allegedly forced himself on a 12-year-old Brooklyn girl for three years after she was sent to him for counseling, prosecutors charge.
The 12-person jury who will decide his fate began deliberations today, so the five alternate jurors were released from duty.
Two other alternate jurors said they would have voted to acquit Weberman of some of the 60 counts he faces.
“I still think there is enough evidence to convict — some of the charges at least,” said a white male juror in his 30s, who said he would have voted Weberman guilty of sex abuse and child endangerment, but not on the top count of sexual conduct against a child.
Weberman could face 25 years on the top count alone.
“I don’t know what the jury’s going to do. I think they are split right down the middle. I was split down the middle as well. It’s a tough one,” the juror said. “I thought there was a lack of evidence there. At the same time the Hasidic community does hide a lot. You can see it.”
Another alternate juror said he believed Weberman did abuse the girl in his office, but would not have voted to convict on every charge.
“I think he’s guilty, but it’s a matter of what he’s guilty of,” the dismissed juror said.
Deliberations halted early at 2:30 p.m. so Weberman could head home for the Jewish Sabbath. The jury will resume deliberations Monday.