A Brooklyn judge threw out most of the evidence against a haredi man who allegedly took a picture of a child sex abuse victim as she was testifying and allegedly sent that picture to blogs, Facebook accounts and Twitter feeds to to post in a sick bid to intimidate her.
Above: The illegal photo at the hear tof the case
Brooklyn Judge Tosses Evidence Against Satmar Hasidic Man Who Allegedly Intimidated Weberman Sex Abuse Victim
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
A Brooklyn judge threw out most of the evidence against a haredi man who allegedly took a picture of a child sex abuse victim as she was testifying and allegedly sent that picture to blogs, Facebook accounts and Twitter feeds to to post in a sick bid to intimidate her, the Daily News reported.
Relying on a US Supreme Court decision issued two months ago the says that a search of a cell phone requires a warrant, earlier today Brooklyn Criminal Court judge Michael Gerstein refused to allow the photo taken of the victim to be admitted into evidence – effectively ending the case.
The decision may be incorrect because witnesses, including court officers, apparently saw the hasidic man, 24-year-old Yona Weissman, take a photo of the victim, and that would have supplied probable cause that should have allowed the phone to be immediately searched.
However, court officers testified they thought Weissman took a different photo of the victim in a courthouse hallway. They took his phone and found the first image, which was allegedly snapped the day before.
Whenever it was taken, that and other pictures of Nechemya Weberman’s victim went viral in the hasidic community. FailedMessiah.com was emailed a copy of what seems to Weissman’s picture moments after it was allegedly taken and published it during the trial – but only after disguising the face of the woman and of others in the photo. (Please see below.)
Weberman, an unlicensed counselor in the Satmar hasidic community, was convicted of repeatedly and regularly sexually abusing the girl beginning when she was 12-years-old and continuing until she was 16. He is serving a 50-year sentence in state prison.
The Satmar community rallied around him, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for his defense and labeling his victim a “whore,” a “prostitute” and a “slut.”
They also rallied around Weissman and several other Satmar men accused of taking pictures of the victim during the trial and/or sharing them on social media and by email in order to intimidate her.
“It’s done. There is no crime anymore. Nobody saw him take the picture,” defense lawyer Israel Fried told the Daily News after Gerstein barred the photo from being used as evidence.
A spokesman for Brooklyn DA Kenneth Thompson said the DA’s office is “reviewing” Gerstein’s decision.
For his part, Weissman is reportedly “celebrating” the end of the case against him.
[Hat Tip: The Lion.]