A contempt of court charge against well-connected Satmar activist Joseph “Yossele” Fried was dropped yesterday on the eve of Fried’s trial after the Brooklyn DA said its office “did a forensic review and determined there was insufficient evidence” to convict him – a claim some anti-abuse activists and victims question as confidence in the new Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson continues to fade.
Above": Joseph "Yossele" Fried
Charges Against Man Who Allegedly Intimidated Witness Against Satmar Child Sex Abuser Dropped
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
A contempt of court charge against well-connected Satmar activist Joseph “Yossele” Fried was dropped yesterday on the eve of Fried’s trial after the Brooklyn DA said its office “did a forensic review and determined there was insufficient evidence” to convict him, the Daily News reported – a claim some anti-abuse activists and victims question as confidence in the new Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson continues to fade.
In 2012, Fried allegedly took photos of the teenage sex abuse victim of a senior Satmar community activist, Nechemya Weberman, as she testified at Webermkan’s trial. The pictures were tweeted and emailed almost immediately in an evident attempt to intimidate the witness.
The previous DA, Charles J. Hynes, indicted three men for that crime. One of them, Lemon Juice, is a friend of the Weberman victim. The evidence against him was contrived and eventually proved to be false. Hynes refused to drop the charges, however, and Juice remained indicted and charged until Thompson dropped the charges against him last month.
But Thompson has also allowed the Satmar hasid who threw a cup of bleach in anti-child-sex-abuse activist Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg’s face and eye to get a no-jail sentence, infuriating Rosenberg and other anti-abuse activists and victims. The attack left Rosenberg with semi-permanent eye damage and vision issues.
And while Thompson did drop extortion charges filed by Hynes against hasidic anti-abuse activist Sam Kellner, he did so after The Jewish Week and the New York Times exposed the fact that the evidence against Kellner was tainted, contradictory and wholly unbelievable.
Fried is a friend and supporter of Weberman.
Juice was and is a Weberman opponent.
The third defendant, Yona Weissman, is also a Weberman supporter and an enemy of Weberman’s victim.
But he is not as politically or socially connected as Fried, and prosecutors now believe Weissman took the illegal photographs.
Th Daily News reported that “court papers indicated that a court officer saw the offensive photograph on Fried’s phone” as well as on Weissman’s but “multiple sources said it has since been deleted. It remains unclear how that happened” – meaning it is likely that either police or someone from the DA’s office intentionally deleted the picture and washed the phone, probably to protect Fried.
Thompson’s office did not announce an investigation into that destruction of evidence and there is no known investigation into that obstruction of justice.
The Weberman victim’s husband, Boorey Deutsch, sharply attacked Thompson’s decision to drop the charges against Fried and accused Thompson of going easy on haredi community thugs who bully abuse victims.
“The system is giving them more reasons to intimidate victims and their families. We are very upset,” Deutsch told the Daily News.
Late last month Fried was one of five hasidim charged with a vicious felony gang assault against Taj Patterson, a 22-year-old gay black man, in the early hours of December 1, 2013. All (or some) of the five, including Fried, are members of the Williamsburg Shomrim hasidic street patrol. No trial date has been set.
The assault was allegedly carried out by approximately 20 hasidim and was witnessed and photographed by onlookers.
Even so, the NYPD did not make an arrest in the case for more than four months, and NYPD’s public information office did not know the case existed when contacted by FailedMessiah.com in March for an update.
On April 24, FailedMessiah.com exclusively reported that in the hours after the beating, approximately 20 members of Williamsburg's Shomrim street patrol allegedly went door to door over a 10 block radius from the site of the beating to erase or destroy security camera footage that would implicate fellow Shomrim members and other hasidim in the beating.
The NYPD, the DA’s office and Shomrim have not confirmed or denied this report.
Despite eyewitness evidence supporting it, the five assailants arrested were not charged by Thompson with a hate crime.
Weissman is scheduled to go on trial June 10.