Tuesday, April 02, 2013
A city councilman was the wedding guest of a Hasidic man facing criminal charges for taking courtroom photos of the victim in a sensational sexual-abuse case as she was testifying.
Councilman Steve Levin (D-Brooklyn) not only attended the wedding of Joseph Fried — whose shocking photographs disrupted the trial in midstream — but also posed with him after the March ceremony.
Levin claimed he wasn’t aware that the groom was the same man who was hauled out of a courtroom in November and slapped with criminal-contempt charges for secretly using his cellphone camera when the victim took the stand.
“I had absolutely no idea that this individual had been arrested for anything ever,” Levin said. “I would not have gone had I known.”
He added, “Witness intimidation in any shape or form is totally wrong. It’s unacceptable.”
Levin said that elected officials in his district routinely are invited to the weddings of constituents and that he attended three or four last month alone.
But at one of those, the bridegroom was Fried, who was arrested during the trial of Nechemaya Weberman, a well-known therapist in the ultra-Orthodox Satmar community accused — and ultimately convicted — of forcing a young girl who was sent to him for counseling to have oral sex during their sessions.
Three Hasidic men, including Fried, were later charged with two counts of criminal contempt in the second degree, a misdemeanor, for allegedly taking the illegal photos.
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