Friday, October 24, 2014
A Hasidic Jewish man accused of taking photos of a sex-abuse victim as she testified in a blockbuster 2012 trial will have the case against him dismissed Friday, the Post has learned.
Yona Weissman, 24, was charged with contempt when court officers caught him with a photo on his phone of the pretty 17-year-old girl on the stand in the trial of her Hasidic counselor, Nechemya Weberman, who was later convicted of brutally abusing her. The photo had also been posted to Twitter.
But the case against Weissman took a hit when Brooklyn Criminal Court Judge Michael Gerstein – citing a recent US Supreme Court decision – ruled the photos inadmissible as evidence because court officers failed to obey search-and-seizure laws.
“There’s no evidence anymore, so that’s it. You need the evidence to convict and without evidence there’s no case,” said Weissman defense attorney Izzy Fried, who said the prosecutor on the case called him Thursday to say the case would be dismissed in court Friday.
“He maintains his innocence. He didn’t do anything wrong. The fact that he had the image on his phone that they illegally searched doesn’t mean he snapped the picture.”
Law-enforcement sources confirmed prosecutors would ask for the case to be dismissed when it is called Friday.
The three other Hasidic men – including one named Lemon Juice – arrested in connection with the photo have already had their charges dropped.
The husband of Weberman’s victim, who steadfastly supported her during the trial, said he was frustrated none of the men responsible for posting his wife’s photo on Twitter will be held responsible.
“He should have gotten a year in jail. He’s the one who took the photo and he definitely tried to intimidate us,” said the husband.
“Unfortunately, this is a bad case left over from the previous administration,” said a DA spokeswoman.
The Weberman trial provided a rare glimpse into the cloistered Satmar Hasidic community, with revealing testimony about modesty committees and the power of leaders like Weberman, who began abusing his victim when she was just 12 years old.
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