BROOKLYN, New York (PIX11) — With her voice quivering and her slender body shaking, an Orthodox Jewish teen repeatedly violated and sexually tormented by her community counselor in Williamsburg, starting when she was just 12, bravely asked a judge to bring this “monstrous perpetrator” to justice.
Judge John Ingram did not fail her, sentencing 54 year old Nechemya Weberman–a father of 10– to 103 years in state prison, noting of the beautiful, blonde victim “Her youth was taken away from her.”
The victim, now 18, stood just six feet from her convicted molester, as she emotionally recounted three years of being forced to perform sexually deviant acts in the counselor’s home office, which had 3 locks on the door. The girl was ordered into therapy in 6th grade, when she dared to question the strict dress code of the Satmar Hasidic community in Williamsburg.
Her parents paid Weberman $150 a session, and the girl testified instead of counseling her, he forced her to perform oral sex the first time she sought treatment.
The molestation escalated to include Weberman’s attempts at intercourse, the girl had testified. She often attended counseling three days a week.
In a packed courtroom, the teen emotionally told the judge about the toll the abuse took on her:
“I think back to the years of my ordeal,” she said. “I saw a girl who didn’t want to live in her own skin, a girl who couldn’t sleep at night….when images of the gruesome invasion of her body kept playing in her head….performing sickening acts for his sick sense of pleasure.”
The girl had testified that Weberman had forced her to watch porn in his office and then copy what she’d seen on screen during their sessions.
The victim was not permitted to testify about one, specific form of sexual torture she attributed to Weberman and his porn fetish: his use of a lighter to drip burning fluid on her stomach, which left her with scars. But she referenced that activity on Tuesday during sentencing.
The teen said “I feel the outcome of abuse is far worse than murder,” shortly after she had cried, as she demanded to know why Weberman won’t admit his crimes.
“How were you able to deny the abuse all these years?” the teen asked. The girl noted other abused teens were afraid to come forward, adding “You treated us like toys that were yours to abuse.”
“Unfortunately, the others would not come forward,” she said. “But we were all one voice and they were with me in spirit.”
Assistant District Attorney, Kevin O’Donnell, pointed out to the court the severe repercussions suffered by the girl’s family, when they went to police instead of rabbinical authorities: “She was treated like a piece of dirt, while the defendant was treated like a god.”
Weberman received dozens of letters of support from his family and community members hoping the judge would be lenient. But the prosecutor observed, “Doing good deeds and being a child molester are not mutually exclusive.”
Weberman’s defense attorney, George Farkas–who plans to appeal the conviction–told the court: “Nechemya Weberman is innocent of the crimes charged.”
When Weberman, who unsuccessfully took the stand in his own defense, was given a chance to address the judge, he said just three words: “No, thank you.”
Judge Ingram noted how witnesses had been intimidated in this case and said, “This cannot be tolerated in a free society.” He urged victims of abuse to report the crimes “to stop the sex predators.”
When Ingram sentenced Weberman to 103 years in prison–out of a possible 117 years he faced–the teen girl wept from a front row seat in the courtroom, her new husband by her side. The teen married several months before the trial began.
Her husband, Boorey D — who once owned a cafe in Williamsburg — told PIX11 News he was put out of business by Weberman’s Orthodox supporters, who took away his Kosher certification.
When PIX 11 asked Boorey how nervous his young wife was, before making her victim impact statement, he said: “Trust me, we didn’t sleep nights for this statement! She’s brave. I respect her for everything she’s done.”
Nechemya Weberman was taken away in handcuffs, back to his prison cell.
The teen girl who faced him down in court will be resuming college classes–and working hard to put the ordeal behind her.
The girl’s family, meantime, has fled their home in Williamsburg, fearing community retaliation — because of the lengthy sentence Weberman received.