Jerusalem court hears case of convicted child abuser suing for defamation

There is no dispute that Yona Weinberg was convicted of sexual abuse in the second degree in New York in 2009.

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March 24, 2018 13:58
1 minute read.
Jerusalem court hears case of convicted child abuser suing for defamation

CHILDREN PARTICIPATE in technology-related activities during Scientists’ Night at the University of Haifa in 2016. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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The bizarre and convoluted story of a convicted child abuser suing a public campaigner against pedophilia for defamation opened before the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

In one corner is the convicted child abuser, and the plaintiff for the purposes of this case, Yona Weinberg, seeking NIS 200,000 in damages.

In the other corner is Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, the defendant, who has campaigned publicly against Weinberg on social media, saying that he presents an ongoing danger to children in his Ashdod neighborhood and urging parents to keep watch.

There is no dispute that Weinberg was convicted of sexual abuse in the second degree in New York in 2009 and that he is registered as a level thee sex offender in the US. Even Weinberg’s lawyer, Eytan Lehman, admitted to The Jerusalem Post that his client, “is no saint.”
However, Weinberg has sued Horowitz for what he says are defamatory, unproven and false allegations and exaggerations both about his conviction and about his conduct after that conviction.

Horowitz maintains that Weinberg has continued to sexually abuse children and is not only a past convict, but a present threat.
On Thursday, Horowitz presented a letter in court from the New York Police Department confirming that Weinberg is wanted for new and open sexual abuse charges and would be arrested if he returns to the US.


The letter also says that Weinberg fled the US to Israel in order to escape arrest for the new allegations.

But Lehman points out that no complaints have been filed in Israel, and offered a counter-letter from Weinberg’s New York lawyer that says that he met with the police in charge of Weinberg’s file and that they contradicted the letter produced by Horowitz.

Furthermore, Lehman’s lawyer attacked the police letter as not being verified by an Israeli consular official and only by a New York apostille official – a mechanism for verifying international documents in other contexts that is comparable to a notarization in domestic law.

A spokeswoman for Horowitz said that the police letter speaks for itself and proves that Horowitz has been speaking the truth.
She said the entire lawsuit is absurd as Weinberg, the offender, is trying to penalize Horowitz, the man trying to save others from becoming new victims of Weinberg.

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