An ultra-Orthodox man who attempted to bribe a victim of sexual abuse to prevent
her from testifying against her molester was sentenced to a four month jail term
by a New York judge on Friday.
Abraham Rubin, 50, a member of the Satmar
Hassidic sect in Brooklyn, offered half a million dollars to buy the silence of
the unnamed victim, whose testimony regarding repeated instances of sexual abuse
helped secure the conviction of unlicensed therapist Nehemia
Weberman received a 50-year sentence last year.
girl’s parents had sent her for sessions to Weberman, at the recommendation of
her school. According to the New York Daily News
, the girl was referred for not
meeting her sect’s strict modesty guidelines regarding dress and asking
questions about the existence of God.
Rubin’s actions were part of what
critics have dubbed a coordinated campaign by members of the Satmar community to
silence the victim, now 19 and married.
Her husband Boorie Deutsch’s
restaurant was defaced and the couple has faced communal ostracism, with the
victim being booed out of a Williamsburg synagogue on Rosh Hashanah. In March,
posters in Yiddish calling for a boycott of the victim’s father’s business were
plastered around Williamsburg as well.
Ultra-Orthodox victims of abuse
and their families are often reluctant to report the abuse. The stigma attached
to reporting can have adverse affects on marriage prospects for the siblings of
those abused and those who come forward with their stories are often
One Satmar congregation has called for prayers for Rubin,
terming him a “great community activist,” according to a photograph of a flyer
posted on Failed Messiah, a website critical of the ultra-Orthodox
“His goodness, his kindness knows no bounds,” the Daily News
quoted Rubin’s lawyer as saying.
Deutsch praised the sentence on
Facebook, stating that “justice has been served” and calling for the end of
“re-victimizing victims of sexual abuse.”
“This is a message to the
Jewish communities around the world. Whoever will try to silence a victim of any
kind of abuse will face justice,” he exulted.
Both Weberman and United
Talmudic Academy, the school that required the victim to see him, are now the
targets of a civil suit alleging continuing emotional distress and psychological
problems as a result of the abuse, which included the forcible reenactment of
scenes from pornographic films, the Daily News
to this report.