Hasid jailed for attempt to buy sex abuse victim’s silence

Unrepentent Satmar community in Brooklyn calls for prayers on his behalf, hails him as “great community activist."

Orthodox man in Brooklyn 370 (photo credit: Michael Wilner)
Orthodox man in Brooklyn 370
(photo credit: Michael Wilner)
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.
Weberman received a 50-year sentence last year.
The 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 ostracized.
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 community.
“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 reported.
JTA contributed to this report.