Friday, March 21, 2014
EXCLUSIVE: Case will be dropped against man with odd name of Lemon Juice, accused of tweeting photo of sex-abuse victim
A criminal case against a man with the odd name of Lemon Juice will be dismissed Friday, the Daily News has learned. The Brooklyn man was accused of tweeting out a photo of a sex-abuse victim during a high-profile trial.
Juice was charged with contempt in November 2012 after a photo of the teen witness was snapped in violation of a judge's orders while she took the stand against her tormentor Nechemya Weberman.
“I’m happy it’s finally over,” Lemon Juice, 32, said Thursday.
The case against him was sour from the start.
Unlike his two co-defendants, Joseph Fried and Yona Weissman, Juice is a friend of the victim and her husband and came to court to support them — a fact prosecutors learned early on, court papers show. And the Twitter account that bore his name and photo continued posting while he was in custody.
“I’ve never used Twitter,” said Juice, who legally changed his name in 2009 to the nickname he got on account of his blond beard.
More twists emerged as the case progressed. In the fall, prosecutors learned the tweet didn't come from Juice’s phone and they later connected the Twitter account to Moses Klein, a personal driver of the Hasidic Satmar sect’s grand rabbi, documents reveal.
A resolution was further delayed to allow new district Attorney Kenneth Thompson to familiarize himself with the facts before tossing a closely watched case, sources said.
“After a 16-month legal battle, I am pleased that DA Thompson and his associates decided to dismiss all charges against an innocent individual,” said Juice’s lawyer, Leopold Gross.
He indicated they will pursue a lawsuit against Klein for malicious prosecution and conspiracy.
The case against Fried and Weissman will move forward, sources said, and their attorneys will be in court Friday to argue against that.
The district attorney’s office did not comment on the dismissal or on possible charges against Klein.
Boorey Deutsch, the husband of Weberman’s victim, called on Thompson to prosecute Klein “who caused an innocent man to be charged with a crime that Klein masterminded.”
Weberman was convicted and is now serving a 50-year prison sentence.
Juice, for his part, did not sound bitter about his legal ordeal.
“I believe everything happens for a reason,” he mused. “I don’t have to know every reason, and it really doesn't matter.”
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