Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Brooklyn DA Charles "Joe" Hynes got a huge win this week on the sexual-abuse front, but let's hope he realizes that he's not done yet.
Hynes won a conviction on all 59 counts brought against unlicensed "therapist" Nechemya Weberman, with jurors agreeing that Weberman abused a 12-year-old girl during weekly counseling sessions over a three-year period.
Weberman, a Satmar Hasidic leader, faces 25 years behind bars — and he long ago forfeited any claim on mercy.
This victory represents something of a sea change in Hynes' relations with the politically influential ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. In the past, he chose not to reveal the names of accused pedophiles and sexual abusers — even after guilty verdicts were returned.
Hynes, in fact, seemed intimidated by community leaders — who, for their part, claimed such silence was necessary out of concern for victims and their families.
In truth, as court officials have noted, some Satmar members could give the Bloods and Crips lessons in intimidation.
As demonstrated in the Weberman trial.
Which is why two related cases need to be vigorously pursued to their conclusion.
In June, Abraham Rubin and three brothers — Jacob, Joseph and Hertzka Berger — were indicted for allegedly offering a $500,000 bribe to get the now-18-year-old victim to drop the case.
Their next court date is in January.
Then, late last month, three other Orthodox men — Joseph Fried, Yona Weissman and Lemon Juice — were caught taking pictures of the victim as she testified in court, in blatant violation of state law.
The judge promptly had them arrested on judicial contempt and intimidation charges.
They'll be back in court in February.
So, while it's good that Nechemya Weberman will be going away for a long time, Joe Hynes has some loose ends to tie up.
Given the culture that he's chosen to confront, that won't be easy.
Clearly, however, he's up to the task.
He proved that this week.
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