4 Heredim have been charged by the Brooklyn DA with covering up child abuse within the community:
The Brooklyn district attorney, facing a wave of public criticism about his handling of sexual abuse allegations in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, on Thursday charged four men with attempting to silence an accuser by offering her and her boyfriend a $500,000 bribe, and threatening her boyfriend’s business.
The district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, alleged that the men were part of an effort to protect a prominent member of the Satmar Hasidic community, Nechemya Weberman, who has been accused of 88 counts of sexual misconduct, including oral sex with a child younger than 13 years old. The charges all involve one girl, now 17, who was referred by her school to get counseling by Mr. Weberman, and then alleged she was abused by him during therapy sessions.
The charges are the first time in at least two decades that Mr. Hynes has charged Hasidic Jews with intimidation of a witness in a sexual abuse case, even though victims, their advocates and prosecutors say intimidation has long been a major obstacle to prosecution of abuse among the ultra-Orthodox. In recent weeks, Mr. Hynes has been saying that the intimidation of witnesses in the ultra-Orthodox community is worse than in the world of organized crime.
“I’m hoping that this will be a message to those who are intimidated that they should come forward and help us,” Mr. Hynes said at a news conference. “No one can engage in this kind of conduct and feel free that, based on prior experience, nothing can happen to them.”
Prosecutors charged Abraham Rubin, 48, of Williamsburg with bribery, witness tampering and coercion. They said that he had been recorded offering the accuser’s boyfriend the money, and he suggested that the young couple could flee to Israel to avoid testifying. He also offered to provide them with a lawyer who could help them avoid cooperating with prosecutors.
Prosecutors also charged three brothers, Jacob, Joseph and Hertzka Berger, with coercion, saying they threatened and then removed the kosher certification of a restaurant run by the accuser’s boyfriend. The brothers are sons of a local rabbi who issues kosher certifications to stores.
I will note that, much like the previous post, it is very likely that this will lead to senior Rabbinic authorities in the region.