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December 10, 2012

What Haredim Don't Understand About The Weberman Verdict

Nechemya Weberman court 11-28-2012 closeupSatmar hasidim and other haredim are decrying the Weberman verdict based on presumptions that are false. Here is what they're doing and an explanation of why what they are doing is wrong according to the halakha, Jewish law, they claim to follow.

Nechemya Weberman court 11-28-2012 closeup
Convicted child sexual abuser Rabbi Nechemya Weberman

A common response to the guilty verdict against child sexual abuser Rabbi Nechemya Weberman is that he was convicted with “no evidence” against him.

“I Am Heartbroken About This Decision! Can't Believe It! With No Evidence! No Proof! No Witness! Should Be Such A Outcome,” one Weberman supporter tweeted.

Another Weberman supporter, a self described hasid named Shimon Rol, tweeted, “Still waiting for the smoking gun, the proof. It's horrible that you can put away a man for life without any proof.…For the record: no evidence was ever presented in court against the accused. It was her word + hateful media against his word…This past Shabbos I heard similar story during Leining in shul. In that case the accuser was Potifar and the accused Joseph.”

Yet another Weberman supporter tweeted a version of this comment several times: “JUSTICE In ameRica??? OJ Simpson, Casey Anthony: Not Guilty. But Hasidic Jew Nechemya Weberman: Guilty with 0 Evidence.”

What all of these comments have in common is that they imply judgement of America’s justice system by comparing it to the beit din (Jewish religious court) system.

They expect two valid witnesses against the accused and a valid warning to the accused given within seconds preceding his crime – the standards the Torah seems to endorse.

Without those elements, they think any American court decision against someone they support is flawed.

But they’re wrong on several levels – including on the halakhic level.

Rabbis long ago realized that there were many cases where there could never be two witnesses to the crime, let alone a kosher warning.

But instead of letting these violent criminals free on this technicality, they imprisoned them. And in dinei mamanot and other non-violent crimes, they assessed penalties and enforced settlements.

Murderers were starved to death with the idea that if the murderer was really innocent, God will intervene to save him. If not, he dies a guilty man.

The halakha is that a beit can – and should – act based on what it believes the truth to be, regardless of whether or not there were two witnesses and a "kosher" warning.

Most haredim don’t know this, however, because, despite the black hats and long black coats, most haredim – especially most hasidim – are very poorly educated.

Secondly, halakha recognizes secular courts as valid when the Jewish community lacks the legal power to detain, imprison and (enforceably) fine a criminal or, in capitol cases, execute him.

Halakha also recognizes that the punishments given for various crimes will most likely be different in the secular system than they are in the beit din system. Halakha approves of these differences, as long as the penalties and punishments given to Jews are basically the same as the penalties and punishments given to everyone else.

In the Weberman trial, there was evidence.

There was the victim’s testimony given for about 14 hours over several days. There were credit card receipts from Weberman’s charity for lingerie and Weberman’s admission that he took the girl on an extended car trip outside New York City with no chaperone – a clear violation of yichud law. The social worker at the girl’s new school diagnosed post traumatic stress disorder, and the girl told the social worker about the abuse.

But even more than this, there are other Weberman victims – at least one still within the statute of limitations – who contacted the D.A. but were too afraid of retribution from Satmar to testify.

But the fact that they came forward would also count against Weberman in a beit din. It would not have been one brave victim against the Satmar machine; it would have been her and several others.

The point is that Satmar has almost uniformly supported Weberman and attacked the victim from day one of this case. Weberman was helped financially and in many other ways. The victim was helped in none.

Instead, Satmar hasidim allegedly tried to bribe her and her fiancee, offering $500,000 in cash if they would leave the country and not testify against Weberman. The fiancee’s restaurant lost its kosher supervision when he refused to cooperate with Satmar’s demands about the case, and his restaurant was forced to close. Hasidim called the girl a “zona,” a “whore,” a “piece of dirt” and depicted her on posters as a missile about to strike the Satmar community. They defamed her on Twitter, Facebook, and on blogs. One of the two Satmar Rebbes, Aharon Teitelbaum, in a public speech in front of tens of thousands of hasidim likened the victim to a prostitute.

There is no basis in halakha for acting this way.

Satmar could have helped Weberman with his legal bills and been kind and supportive to the victim at the same time. That would have been the proper thing to do if there was any real doubt about Weberman’s guilt.

But like much of the hasidic and haredi communities, Satmar views women who are raped and abused as enticers. It is their beauty, their lack of “modesty,” their very existence that tempts men to sin.

That’s how 8-year-old Modern Orthodox girls walking to school in Beit Shemesh became “whores,” “curvas” and “shiksas,” and that’s how haredi men in long black coats and flat top black hats rationalized spitting on them, chasing them and even stoning them.

Women are “vessels of filth,” “stinking holes that bleed impurity” and that “entice” otherwise “pure and holy” men to sin.

I’ve even heard similar language used by haredim about boys who have been sexually abused by a rabbi or a prominent haredi community member.

The boys “wanted it,” they’re “gay,” they “seduced” the older rabbi, who just could not resist their charms.

But the Satmar Rebbe’s rant and the attacks against the victims are not halakha – even if they are the current minhag ha-rav (custom of the rabbi) and minhag ha-rebbe (custom of the rebbe).

And that is a lesson Satmar hasidim and other haredim need to learn.

Comments

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Today it is Weberman

Tomorrow the Rebbes take the hit

That is how the Catholic Church got taken to at least 1 billion dollars and it very much reformed that instution

Another Weberman supporter, a self described hasid named Shimon Rol, tweeted,

Tweeted?! I thought that the Internet is verboten! Same with smart phones? You can't have your cake and eat it.

On one hand we laugh at their backwardness then in reality we see just the opposite.

I hope they have a mikveh in the gaol as this guy is going to have to go to the mikveh 80 times every day, one time for each emission!

Sharya, I still don't get it.

I don't understand how the jury was beyond reasonable doubt, on all 59 counts. From the news reports I read, even if they were sure that he acted inappropriately how would they know how far he went?

Can they just believe a angry victim looking to get back at her perpetrator they she didn't exaggerate even 1 percent?

Posted by: t | December 10, 2012 at 07:16 PM

Re-read what I wrote.

1. There was other evidence/

2. The girl testified for about 14 hours, most of it under hostile cross examination. She didn't just say "Weberman sexually abused me."

3. Batei din regularly convicted on far less evidence.

Good article. I hope that Deremes reads this. He claims there was no proof.

The explanation of the difference between Jewish law and secular and permission to go to civil courts needs to be explained more often.

To all those who are claiming that an Orthodox Jew cannot get a fair trial in the USA, that the Jury was anti-sematic or influenced by an anti-sematic media, or that there was no evidence.

Let’s put the shoe on the other foot.

If you were sitting on a Jury of where a non-Jew who was an "Unlicensed Therapist" was accused by a minor of sexually abusing her and during the trial you heard:

1. The parents were forced to use this specific “Unlicensed Therapist” because of information/power that he had over them
2. That the “Unlicensed Therapist” demanded payment for a years’ worth of therapy upfront or else
3. The "Unlicensed Therapist" had the therapy sessions with the minor in a private apartment with no staff for a period of three years
4. The doors to the apartment were always locked with three locks during therapy
5. The bedroom door to the room where the therapy took place was also always kept locked with two locks during therapy
6. There was a bed and mirror in the therapy room
7. The “Unlicensed Therapist” took the minor on an all day trip with no other adults around
8. After this trip, the parents confronted the “Unlicensed Therapist” and accused him of not being a professional for taking their daughter on an all day trip with no one else around, and because of the power that he had over them, he made them write him an apology letter for having the audacity of accusing him
9. That the “Unlicensed Therapist” had a Charity organization and that Charity funds were used to purchase “Lingerie” in multiple Lingerie shops
10. That Charity funds were used by the “Unlicensed Therapist” to pay for his personal expenses
11. That he had run away girls who were also minors, live in his Office (apartment where he met clients) and they had no interaction with his family or were part of his family life
12. That the minor moved to a new city and started seeing a new therapist. The new Therapist diagnosed her with Post Traumatic Stress/Depression and through the process of therapy uncovered the sexual abuse. She then reported the abuse to the Police.
13. The accuser being grilled by his defense team for over 14 hours over multiple days and she never wavered from her story or was caught with any major inconsistencies

I am sure almost all of you, would of voted to convict.

Once again, Shmarya, the great Halachic authority (nay, authority on just about everything), giving his opinion.

Once again, Shmarya, the great Halachic authority (nay, authority on just about everything), giving his opinion.

Posted by: Menachem | December 10, 2012 at 08:11 PM

I take it this means that, as usual, "Menachem," you can't refute me.

Posted by: Menachem | December 10, 2012 at 08:11 PM

Is there anything that you would like to rebut or is it just an ad-hominem-- and a weak one to boot.

I think it is nothing less than fantastic that this scum was nailed for his crimes...and trust me, I am certain there were other victims (MANY other victims) that never came forward.

Now, I'll tell everyone who wants to hear it..what the next step has to be. The way the Catholic Church FINALLY cleaned up it's act was when it was sued for - and ended up paying out- hundreds of millions of dollalars in damages for the actions of it's pedophile priests.

That's the ONLY way that the Satmars, Bobovers, Chasids, or whatever you want to call them are going to take DEFINITIVE action and protect children- when you make it clear to them that they are going to be hit with, and pay out, lawsuits in the millions.

I mean, you would figure that a childs' welfare would be at the top of their priority list. Not these SCUM. They will be more worried about losing millions of dollars than anything...and THAT'S when they will deal with the pedophiles in their midst. But not before.

And since child molesters are right down there in the bottom of the prison hierarchy along with snitches.....won't take too long before this particular scumbag is shanked in the shower.

What a loss to the human race that's gonna be.

I agree with most of the article except with the description on how we perceive women as f... etc, that's very ignorant and just right out lying.

Posted by: Robert J. Barron, Attorney-at-Law | December 10, 2012 at 08:31 PM

I agree. Today's result was a tiny step; only an internal change to protecting kids, instead of cover-ups and protecting accused molesters, will resolve the problem. Both Lawsuits and the parents have to ignore the Rabbis and go to the police are the only way to make the people in charge change.

Oy, dude, or dudet, whom/whichever you may be- with all due respect to you, and 'Derech-remes' too for that matter, I realize, of course, that this is just a blog, and hence, everybody can spew as they wish, but, man, I mean a lot of people read this one, so 'people' shouldn't spew if they lack a)the intelligence b) the information and c) the tact to do so.
Firstly, you're putting a guy away FOR LIFE for:
1) "omg,,, this guy is giving advice, helping kids abused, but but..but... but ... he's not licensed!! 'Cause, everybody knows, that if you don't have a piece of paper in an expensive frame hanging on your wall proving that you sat in a classroom listening to someone ELSE preach THEIR beliefs on how to save everybody for the requisite 152 hours, you can't possibly be helpful or insightful. We all know incredible people, who have done incredible work, with advice and love and support for so many, but..well being that they don't mostly have sealed pieces of paper on the wall, well than.. they're really criminals then, huh? "Licensed" ... grow up. and look around.
2) The dude bought lingerie. ooohhh, THAT'S different. (pssst, he's a guy- likes girls) must be...wait, lemme think.... k, hold on I'm thinking, O.K... let's see now, he bought lingerie... this girl is accusing him of being sexual....ahhh...bingo... I got it!! must be he rapped her!!!.

3)He took her with him on a ride up to Monsy. Oh well that seals it right there!!
4) There was a BED, A BED!! !!!A BED!!! AND a mirror! Excuse me your Honor, this is not a therapy room in a medical building that happened to have a BED in it! This is an APARTMENT, where kids stay, and this is the one of the three rooms to talk privately. oh, and coincidentally, it also has a table and chairs in it too. Go figure, huh?
Oh btw... as I'm writing I just remembered something. Does it strike anyone else curious that after 12 years of interacting with 455 kids, the only one too "come forth" also happens to be a..well... you know...bit of a cracker. Strike anyone funny? Just thinking.

Anyway, a bunch more to write but my mother's making me go to bed. Can't wait to expose her when I grow up.


…Oh btw... as I'm writing I just remembered something. Does it strike anyone else curious that after 12 years of interacting with 455 kids, the only one too "come forth" also happens to be a..well... you know...bit of a cracker. Strike anyone funny? Just thinking.…

Posted by: koo-koo breath | December 10, 2012 at 08:42 PM

Please.

Five (at least) other victims are known to police and the DA.

When you see the hell that your friends in Williamsburg put the victim who did come forward through, a normal person can understand why the others were afraid to testify.

But you obviously are not normal.

I agree with most of the article except with the description on how we perceive women as f... etc, that's very ignorant and just right out lying.

Posted by: Mike Kats | December 10, 2012 at 08:33 PM

Actually, Mike, it's a gemara.

I take it this means that, as usual, "Menachem," you can't refute me.

Posted by: Shmarya | December 10, 2012 at 08:20 PM


No, it means that I don't bother to refute you because you make wide assumptions about Halacha that are only supported by your ignorance.

In this case, for instance, the principle of Dina d'Malchusa Dina does not mean that everything that a secular court rules is justified by Jewish law, to insinuate otherwise is ludicrous.

Weberman wasn't convicted because he sexually molested or raped a girl, he was convicted because he was the bully for Va'ad-Hatznius for the past twenty-five years, he hurt many people in his lifetime. Like Joey D'angelo said to him "Karma is a bitch"! But I still feel bad for him and his family, he is still a brother.

Please.

What I wrote is halakha l'ma'ase.

As long as all people, Jews and non-Jews, are treated basically the same, non-Jewish courts are viewed halakhicly as having the legitimate right to punish – even if that punishment is more severe or less severe than the Torah's.

That is the din.

If you don't know that, you're ignorant.

If you do know that, then you lied.

Toddle off, little one.

Shmarya -

Everything that you wrote about the despicable conduct of the community - the bribes, the attempts at silencing, the photographs in court, the intimidation, the disparaging of the accuser, etc. - is true. This was a paramount example of a patriarchal, possibly misogynistic society cowering in the face of and respecting a powerful man over a comparatively defenseless woman.

But to convict a person on 59 counts of sexual abuse?! Because one person claims it was so?

There is a standard in this country that must be met before people can be convicted of criminal acts: guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. How is one person's words, pitted against another's, in the absence of physical evidence or witnesses, sufficient to meet that standard?

Look, there's no question that this guy was a hypocrite who did not live up to the religious mores he purported to live by. No truly pious person would divert charitable funds for his own personal use, or mysteriously not know how lingerie was bought from his charity's funds, or go on long drives alone with a member of the opposite sex when such conduct is explicitly prohibited. But to go from those misdeeds to definitively declaring that he's guilty of sexual molestation of a minor? I just can't see how that would hold up in court.

Yes, I know that other women levied similar allegations. But since they didn't testify, their claims were not considered. Now, given the lingerie purchases, the accuser, and the other women who were too afraid to testify, would I allow my daughter to be in the presence of this man for a moment? Hell no. Do I THINK he's guilty? Yeah, sure. But "thinking" someone is "probably" guilty is not enough to lock someone up for decades and throw away the key. This case seems like it may have been a result more of antipathy towards the patriarchal Satmar system, and the sense that this guy was such a bad-ass that he "MUST" be guilty, than it was a conviction based on guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

I cannot for the life of me imagine that this will hold up on appeal.

Actually, Mike, it's a gemara.

Written in the Middle Ages, huh? In Iraq, in the Caliphate of the Muslims, on the shores of Babylon? Yeah, probably explains a lot.

I take it this means that, as usual, "Menachem," you can't refute me.

I'm convinced of Macher Weberman's guilt. Why? Because of numerous little details of circumstantial evidence that paint a story of someone who wanted to be private with a child, who was private with a child in flagrant violation of both Jewish and American law, with his office in a room with a bed and multiple locks. Yes, each of the individual facts alone does not really suggest guilt. (After all, NYC has numerous bedrooms with mirrors, and numerous apartments with locks.) It is also the facts that the macher was alone in his workplace with the child, that she was in that bedroom, that he had bought lingerie, that they had long sessions together, that she said she was abused, and that he was in a position to abuse her for long periods of time. Those assertations and facts, taken together, paint a damning picture.

88 charges

The prosecutor was being a bit overzealous.

59 charges

Is there really a need for that many charges? There should be enough charges to ensure a high level of punishment if the man is guilty, but 59 charges??? Isn't that overkill?

…I cannot for the life of me imagine that this will hold up on appeal.

Posted by: Seperite | December 10, 2012 at 09:22 PM

Rape cases often have no witnesses and little, if any physical evidence.

The victim made an accusation. It was supported by the social worker at her school, by closely related bad behavior by Weberman, and by the fact that for 14 hours on the stand, most of it being grilled by nasty defense attorneys, the girl never wavered, never messed up, never did anything other than seem to be completely credible.

Weberman, however, was not a credible witness and neither was Gluck or Weberman's cousin the principal.

Juries decide cases based on credibility as well as evidence.

Past that, an appeals court can't throw out a case because it thinks there wasn't enough evidence to convict. The JURY decides if there was enough evidence to convict.

What an appeals court does is rule on points of law – should this piece of evidence been allowed in? Excluded? Etc.

Unfortunately, Hitler won. 90% of the "neshama" of european jewry, the Jews of Poland, were murdered. Most of what is left are the filthy animals that are Hungarian Jews. And that is what Satmar is. Zombies wearing costumes. No da'as Torah. Just drek.

UW, I'm at least a quarter Hungarian Jewish, and I don't go around being a costume-wearing zombie. Neither did my fully Hungarian Jewish grandmother. There were frei yidden among the Jews of Hungary, as well as frum yidden. Ever heard of Neolog?

interesting that all the satmar and other frum jews who are now screaming (well in realty they always say that) a yid cannot get a fair trial somehow missed that the accuser was also a yid

(From Wikipedia) "Neolog Judaism is a mild reform movement within Judaism, mainly in Hungarian-speaking regions of Europe, which began as a result of the Hungarian Jewish Congress, convened on December 14, 1868..." yada yada yada. Neolog survived the Holocaust but got lumped into one organization with the Orthodox and unaffiliated ("status quo") Jews during Communist times. Neolog seperated after the Communist period.

You're right that an appellate court cannot retry a case. An appellate court can, however, overturn a trial court's verdict when it deems that the jury misapplied the law when reaching its conclusion. And considering that it doesn't appear that it could be conceivably argued that a lack of corroborating witnesses or evidence met the standard of guilt 'beyond a reasonable doubt,' it would seem that the appellate court would indeed have the power to overturn.

(though I admit I know far less about criminal procedure than civil procedure. I do know, however, that criminal decisions are far less likely to be overturned than civil ones, so that does mitigate in favor of your argument.)

Let me be clear: I am not even remotely suggesting that Weberman is in any way innocent of the crimes he has been accused of committing. But the language used by juries and judges in expressing their verdicts is telling: the phrase used is not "innocent," but "not guilty." The distinction between those seemingly interchangeable phrases is that when a court declares you "not guilty," it doesn't mean that it's definitively stating that you didn't do what you were accused of doing. It's only stating that there is insufficient evidence to state, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you are guilty of the accusations. "Not guilty" doesn't mean innocent - it just means "not enough proof to definitively state that you're guilty."

And this is the problem with the Weberman verdict. I can't see how anyone could possibly cogently argue that there is definitive proof of this man's guilt. Is he PROBABLY guilty? Absolutely - there's too much circumstantial evidence (lingerie, locks on doors, generally scummy behavior) to suggest otherwise. Any father would be insane to let his daughter spend time alone with him. But the standard of the courts is not the same as the standard of a parent.

Motive, opportunity, and the sense that "he's the kind of guy who would do something like this" is enough to make you want to stay away from someone, but not enough to throw him in jail for decades. If that was the court's standard, then undoubtedly, a lot of people who committed terrible crimes but managed to beat the system would be in jail. But so would a lot of innocent people, too. And in weighing the benefits and costs of a system that lets guilty people go free, or one that incarcerates innocent people, our society has long since decided that freeing the guilty is far preferable to locking up the innocent. So we have this system - this imperfect system - that demands that guilt be proven 'beyond a reasonable doubt,' enabling some criminals lucky enough to have committed crimes without leaving evidence behind to go free, but which also, when applied properly, prevents innocent people who look like they coulda done it, and seem like they coulda done it, but didn't actually do it, from going to jail.

The fact that the accuser didn't veer from her story is not enough. She may well have been telling the truth (and I'd certainly believe her over him) but absent evidence, she should, unfortunately, be out of luck. I really think the jury was swayed both by a dislike of Hasidim, a resentment of this pompous man and pompous society that looks down on its women, a deep hatred of the fact that members of the community tried to intimidate this woman and photograph her and malign her, a disgust with the Rebbe who called her a whore, and on that basis, they convicted this man...on the basis of the fact that he seemed 'probably' guilty, even though there was no direct evidence.

90% of the "neshama" of european jewry, the Jews of Poland, were murdered. True, Poland lost the vast majority of its Jews.

Most of what is left are (slur omitted) that are Hungarian Jews. Probably not true. France is presently the largest Jewish population in Europe, more than Britain or Russia; it is unclear what portion of today's Jewish population is of Hungarian ancestry, as opposed to Russian/German/English/whatever. But if I were to make a guess, there are still a lot of "Russian"- and Polish-descended Jews out there (mostly living in America and Israel).

Posted by: Seperite | December 10, 2012 at 09:55 PM

To say that you do not understand the law or the legal process would be a gross understatement.

Past that, you have no grasp of the evidence that did exist.

Seperite, there was both direct and circumstantial evidence of guilt. Witnesses for the defense strained credulity, at best. Witnesses for the People were believable. There was no evidence in defense of the charges except a flimsy theory that had the appearance of fabrication. What else do you want. The proverbial smoking lingerie?

I don’t know what really happened in this case, but why on earth would anybody think that 12 goim would ever believe a yid with a beard and poios, when was a chasidisha yid ever been acquitted here, who is so naive to think any goi looks on us a normal humans, without a word we will be wrong before a word

Thank you, dh, for the thoughtful response. Your civility stands in stark contrast to Shmarya, who laughably makes sure to include "Comment Rules" in an effort to promote civility, and then proceeds to besmirch, make fun of, and call "idiots" anyone who doesn't agree with him. If this childish, boorish behavior weren't so sad and ironic, it would be quite funny.

The flaw in your line of reasoning, dh, is that it seems to be predicated on the idea that each side is responsible for proving the veracity of its claims. But that is not how the criminal justice system works. The burden of proof is on the accuser, in the person of the prosecutor and his witnesses, to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that his/her allegations are true. The job of the defense is not to prove his innocence per se, but to cast doubt on the veracity of the prosecution's narrative. Until proven otherwise, the defense is given the benefit of the doubt, and the presumption of innocence. In theory, then, the defense could do nothing - bring no witnesses, adduce no evidence, make no claims, even not hire a lawyer. If, in such a theoretical example, the prosecution is not able to prove its claims beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant is not guilty, even without his defense team uttering a word.

That is the standard that is used. If a defendant could be convicted, without evidence, of having committed Crime X just because he is a bad, hypocritical person in other aspects of his life who seems like the type that would commit Crime X, a lot of innocent people would go to jail. Guilty people who would otherwise escape justice would, too, but the impact on innocents makes such an approach untenable.

It is unfortunate that the corollary of the use of a standard as strict as "beyond a reasonable doubt" is that people who commit crimes get to go free if the prosecution is unable to build a strong enough case. But that's life. I fail to see how this standard was reached in the Weberman case.

moshe yoel

His conduct should not have come to him being judged by 12 goyim. Anyway, it's better than being carried by 6.

Seperite, he is toast. The legal system will not go out of their way to redo this nightmare of a trial. He is a nobody, an unlicensed therapist. We are not talking about a leader or big shot. Better to get him behind bars and let the healing begin.

Posted by: seperite | December 11, 2012 at 12:20 AM

Please.

You're a fool.

Answer this question: A man is robbed at gunpoint on a dark Manhattan street. There are no witnesses, but the man can identify the person who robbed him.

What should police do? What should the DA do?

The answer, rocket scientist, is that if they believe the victim and think a jury will, as well, and their vetting finds no problems with his claims – they PROSECUTE.

You see, law is not based on absolute proof or even physical evidence. And, neither is halakha.

Your grasp of common law, American law and halakha is extremely weak.

Past that, there was corroborating evidence but you are too dense or too dishonest (or, perhaps, both) to understand it.

I realize you don't like being put in your place. But your passive agressive BS won't fly with me.

you guys are as pathetic as you try and make the hasidim look. Oh yeah, orthodox Jews have no idea about the american legal system. I am as orthodox as they get and will take any of you up for a legal debate! You guys are nothing short of looser's ! Hasidim have the right to live the way they do, the parents of the victim are guilty for falling under the pressure of satmar, they could have left the community if they wished! He might have done it, but there was not enough legal evidence to find him guilty !

I'm from London, England and we too have our share of sex scandals in our community. Thanks you America for showing us the way. Your justice system certainly has flaws but I'm pleased that serious criminals such as Weberman can be brought to justice.

This verdict is being heard around the world and I hope people in my community can have the courage to follow your example.

Posted by: jerusalemdiamonds | December 11, 2012 at 02:58 AM

You weren't in the court room. You don't know who else testified and what evidence was presented. It's not as easy to leave a community like Satmar as you make out. Secular education is grossly lacking. Many are not fully fluent in English. Addtionally there's the communal pressure. Retaliation against extended family in by denying good jobs, shidduch and school enrollment is not uncommon.

Seperite - spare us the logorrhoea, please.


To you, and all of the frothing, whinging frumbags complaining about your buddy from the BBHBB being convicted, consider this:


-Weberman's victims all have life sentences. He's getting off lightly, because mental prison is infinitely more tortuous than physical prison.


-The DA will not even bring a case to trial without sufficient evidence. Rape and abuse cases are shelved frequently due to lack of evidence or credible witnesses. If the complainant is a very young child, or developmentally disabled, trial is rarely an option.


-Weberman sealed his own fate. His aggression and deluded sense of grandiosity led him to believe that in court, as in life, things would go his way. His ingrained belief of being one of the 'Chosen' in a court of goyim only enhanced his misguided sense of superiority.

No wonder then, that he felt so comfortable slandering the victim, admitting to fraud, and acting like a boor. For his star character witness, the principal, to then LIE under oath? Absolutely incredible.


Give it up. The time, money, and effort you've spent is gone, move on. Even with your twisted dynasty funding the best possible legal team, ultimately, Weberman ended up testifying for the prosecution. He nailed his own coffin shut from the inside.

Shmarya -

In exposing the hypocrisies and misdeeds of the religious community, you perform an important service that few, if any, others have taken it upon themselves to do. For that, you deserve credit and praise.

But if you want to be respected as an earnest and honest whistle-blower, and not some crackpot with a chip on his shoulder with an axe to grind, you have got to learn to calm down and debate topics in a mature, civil manner. Reasonable people can indeed disagree. When someone presents an opinion different from your own, the appropriate response is not to call him 'dense' or an 'idiot' or question his intelligence, as you do over and over again in these comments, but to demonstrate, with clear and convincing arguments, the error of his ways. Simply calling people names and besmirching their intellect is the kind of behavior one would expect from children - or Hasidim, who do not receive educations or social development beyond the 3rd or 5th grade level.

No Light - I don't disagree that the pronounced sense of disdain for the outside world likely contributed to the ease with which the victim was slandered, fraud was admitted to, etc. A sense of superiority is ubiquitous and endemic in communities that choose to 'live apart' and distance themselves from the world. And undoubtedly, that smug, arrogant, 'I'm-better-than-you' attitude repelled the jury and made them far more inclined to convict someone they saw as a bad, controlling, authoritarian man.

I just don't see how that makes him convictable for rape. Plenty of evidence was adduced demonstrating that he's a bad, corrupt, mean bully from a community with some twisted values. But that doesn't mean that he raped the girl. Doesn't mean that he DIDN'T rape the girl either, but criminal courts must convict only when there's guilt proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Would another man, not from a shadowy, dark, strange sect of isolationists who don't consider themselves part of society-at-large have been convicted with the same evidence? A man who had counseled hundreds, accused by but a single person (yes, I know there were others who came forward, but they didn't testify, so the jury couldn't consider them), going to jail for life without a shred of physical evidence? Yes, he's a bully, yes, he fraudulently used money that was earmarked for charity, yes, he's a shadowy guy, yes, he breached the bounds of sane and acceptable behavior by videotaping his 'patient' having sex...but just because a guy is an asshole, is that sufficient to accept the word of his accuser as unvarnished, unassailable truth?

And for the record: I'm no Hasid, and find their refusal to provide their own with proper educations and the skills necessary to survive in the outside world to be repugnant. It handicaps people, traps them in the community forever, and neglects the responsibility parents have to give their children the best possible chance to succeed. But I don't want to live in a world in which people who are assholes, and who live in communities whose values are peculiar and sometimes contrast those of the larger society, are assumed to be guilty of crimes simply because of their differences. And you shouldn't either.

No Light:
"Weberman sealed his own fate. His aggression and deluded sense of grandiosity led him to believe that in court, as in life, things would go his way. His ingrained belief of being one of the 'Chosen' in a court of goyim only enhanced his misguided sense of superiority." Excellent assessment and so fitting for other members of the community as well. Luke

Posted by: Seperite | December 11, 2012 at 09:12 AM

Again, you have no understanding of criminal law, of halakha or of the history of either.

You don't understand what is and what is not evidence.

You know pretty close to nothing, are unwilling to listen to people who do know, and you act mystified when you're not agreed with.

I asked you a question. Answer that question or stop posting comments:

A man is robbed at gunpoint on a dark Manhattan street. There are no witnesses, but the man can identify the person who robbed him.

What should police do? What should the DA do?

Seperite,
You seem to have trouble accepting our jury system. "Reasonable doubt" means whatever the 12 men and women of the jury says it means. They are instructed to use their common sense and their understanding of the evidence presented at trial to determine whether that (yes!) highly subjective threshold has been reached.

If you were on that jury and heard all the testimony, you would be perfectly within your rights to refuse to convict. But you weren't, and so your opinion doesn't count for much.

If you would rather that criminals are tried by a jury of the wise village elders, or a tribunal of corrupt officials, there are other countries you can move to.

Seperite, Your kiss is worse than your bite, all your derogatory comments about a whole community you know zilch about! Coming from the so called educated class, goes to show the real "Value" of your ilk! btw, Isn't that the reason the judicial system gives the "Power" to decide in such a serious case to the "Jurors" who are simple mostly even "un-educated" in the ways of secular law! Because "you educated class-lawyers" are spinners and not trustworthy! Keep it simple stupid, and stop besmirching a community you have no stake in -therefore no understanding of-, not in this world or the next.

I find it hysterical that a man whose seeming mission in life is exposing and upending a community that keeps its members in the dark about everything, refuses to consider reason or debate, and isolates itself from the world, would write something as closed-minded and dictatorial as 'stop posting comments.' Aren't you all about the free-flow of ideas?

I have not written a single word about halakha, so your repeated remark about my having no understanding of halakha or its history is particularly telling, inasmuch as it is reflective of your need to simply bash, attack, and denigrate others with no rhyme or reason.

As for your question, of course the police and DA have to investigate. And, if they believe the allegations of the victim, they should arraign, indict, and prosecute, too. But they also have the responsibility to gather as much corroborating evidence as they can. An accusation, on its own, from a single alleged victim, without any physical evidence or witnesses, should not be enough to convict - not in the case of a robbery, nor in the case of a rape. Any time you're talking about a procedure that has the potential to result in the stripping away of a person's freedom and civil rights, the court must be as sure as possible - beyond a reasonable doubt - of the guilt of the accused.

You feel for the woman in this case, and so do I. I assume she's telling the truth, and that Weberman is a liar and a molestor. But an assumption, even one based on a preponderance of evidence (the standard used in civil cases) is not enough to convict in criminal court. You can continue to parrot your insulting "you don't know anything about criminal law" line all you want, but you've provided no evidence in law suggesting that the accusation of a single alleged victim is sufficient, on its own, to throw an accused perpetrator in jail for the rest of his life.

Think about how frightening living in such a world would be. Anybody who had a gripe against you - an ex-girlfriend, perhaps, or a disgruntled employee, or an angry business partner - could claim that they were the victim of some heinous crime committed by your hands. If all the prosecution had to do to win a conviction is demonstrate that you're generally a bad person, and therefore it stands to reason that you're guilty of the crime you've been accused of committing, even with no evidence, you wouldn't ever want to interact with anyone, ever. You'd crawl into a shell.

I am not suggesting that the woman in this case is lying. Had Weberman been acquitted, she would have essentially been victimized twice - once by the sexual abuse she suffered, and a second time when an impotent criminal justice system failed to convict her abuser. That would have been unspeakably tragic, both for her, her family, and for society at large. But horrid as that would have been, that is the best possible result in an imperfect, human, fallible, legal system. It is better - far better - to let guilty people go free in instances in which they are 'lucky' enough to have committed a crime with no evidence or witnesses, than it would be to wrongly convict innocent people, which is precisely what would result if the courts instituted a standard for conviction that was as lax as the one you seem to advocate, and which the jury in this case wrongfully employed.

Posted by: Seperite | December 11, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Please.

Thousands of cases have been prosecuted exactly the way I described.

Police look to see if the suspect has a valid alibi, if anything else disqualifies him; they check to see if there are holes in the victim's story, etc.

And then the case is prosecuted.

Past that very simple fact, you expect corroborating evidence.

While the law does NOT require that, in this case, there WAS corroborating evidence.

But as I noted previously, you're don't seem to have much of a grasp of that, or of law, or of halakha.

Shmarya: "in this case, there WAS corroborating evidence"

can you list the corroborating evidence?

you've provided no evidence in law suggesting that the accusation of a single alleged victim is sufficient, on its own, to throw an accused perpetrator in jail for the rest of his life.

Posted by: Seperite | December 11, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Sure it is sufficient. What rules of evidence were broken? There is no rule requiring physical evidence. There is no rule requiring multiple accusers. There is no rule requiring multiple witnesses. You simply don't like the way criminal justice is done in this country.

""Women are “vessels of filth,” “stinking holes that bleed impurity” and that “entice” otherwise “pure and holy” men to sin.""

You cant be serious.

You trying to sell people that when I and all of Satmar men look at wife,daughter,daughter-in-law,sister in law,neighbors we consider them as filth?
You having a grand time these days with the latest news and you still desperate to make up things.Unbelievable.

Yeah, Seperite, I agree, another man would have been exonerated.

A humble man, more skilled in the art of overt deception who's wife didn't have to walk three feet behind him and could believably and tearfully testify that the lingerie was for her. Another man who could satisfy the jury working as charged, to weigh the veracity of witnesses, by some showing of good faith - anything, no locks on the girls' doors, adult female supervision, some professional psycho-therapeutical supervision, design, records, education / training, a receipt that he reimbursed the "charity" for undergarments and tuition. Something!

You're right. The burden is on the People. Weberman had nothing going for him just as historically impoverished uneducated minorities have nothing going for them because they cannot afford stellar skilled polished counsel in abundance. Still, they would be convicted less often than Weberman and his societal accomplices because there is more of a chance that the defendants in my example would have humility instead of arrogance, respect (or feigned respect)instead of condescension for the justice system and a sense of morality instead of lofty entitlement.

Clients are remarkably difficult to control.

Weberman had three lawyers and they were wholly unable to orchestrate the defense with any sort of finesse. One of his attorneys was scantily clad. Quite a statement that not even his counsel had enough respect for Weberman to dress modestly in tacit support of her client.

Mistakes are made. This verdict was not one of them.

No, Deremes, totally believable. Look up the definition of filth. The dictionary is that great big book with the big capital "D" or go on to the evil internet and carefully search dictionary.com.

His crimes were against society in general, against a girl and the State of NY which is in charge of porsecuting crimes according to the penal code. We could care less what Halakah says or does not say, that is inconsequential and irrelevant. To all Satmar fanatics out there, this is the U.S.A.,you are subject to all the laws of the Land, not the ones your bubble society you want to live in.

It is so sad that so many members of Satmar willingly commit a Chilul Hashem by ignoring evidence of guilt and harassing victims. The Rabbis who ignored the sin and protect the sinners are co-conspirators in the legal and moral sense.

Where is an honest Beit Din to place a Herem on them and Weberman for their sins and the damage they have done to the community?

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