Therapist In Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Community Gets 103 Years For Sex Abuse

Category: Society / Jan 22, 2013 3:53PM EDT
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish counselor was sentenced to 103-years in jail on Tuesday (January 22) for sexually abusing a young female patient in the insular Brooklyn community where they lived. A judge in New York State Supreme Court handed down the sentence to Nechemya Weberman, 54, who was convicted last month of sexual conduct against a child, criminal sexual acts, sexual abuse, and endangering the welfare of a child -- counts whose maximum penalty was 117 years. The trial centered on a three-year period starting in 2007 when the victim's parents hired Weberman, an unlicensed therapist in their community in Brooklyn, to counsel their 12-year-old daughter. Prosecutors have said that over the next several years, Weberman sexually abused the girl, mostly in his office. "Her decision to come forward was a very hard thing, but with the support of many, many people in the community and especially many rabbis -- I'm talking about rabbis that the community look up to them that gave us a lot of support without showing the public that they do 'cause out of fear," said the victim's husband, Hershy Deutsch, after the hearing. The insular Jewish community rallied around Weberman, even throwing him a fundraiser to pay for his defense. "We still get feedback. We still get threats. But I don't. . . this is not going to change anything. We're here to protect the future and the future of our children," added Deutsch. There were also other allegations of threats towards the family for not handling it within the community. Brooklyn is home to the largest community of ultra-orthodox Jews outside Israel, more than 250,000.