Four Charged With $500K Abuse Payoff

Hit With Witness-Tampering Counts in Rabbi Sex Case

By Paul Berger

Published June 21, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

After months complaining about the resistance of ultra-Orthodox Jews to cooperate in child sex abuse cases, Brooklyn’s District Attorney has made four arrests for witness tampering.

Charles Hynes
Charles Hynes

The four were set to appear in Brooklyn Supreme Court on June 21 to be arraigned on charges of bribery and intimidation related to the looming trial of Rabbi Nechemya Weberman.

DNAinfo reported that Jacob, Joseph and Hertzka Berger and Abraham Rubin offered to pay an alleged victim $500,000 to keep quiet.

Weberman, 53, was arrested last year on charges of sexually abusing a teenage girl over several years. His case has been deeply contentious among New York’s Satmar community.

A fundraiser for Weberman’s defense campaign in Williamsburg, in May, attracted hundreds of supporters. Two people were arrested when scuffles broke out outside the event between Weberman’s supporters and members of a much smaller contingent of advocates for the victim.

Brooklyn’s District Attorney Charles Hynes has come under tremendous pressure in recent months for his handling of sex crimes in the ultra-Orthodox community.

Hynes launched a special program three years ago targeting abuse in the ultra-Orthodox community.

In May, he claimed to have made more than 90 arrests involving ultra-Orthodox victims or perpetrators of sexual abuse. But as he has done several times in the past, Hynes refused to release the names of any of those arrested, including convicted sex abusers. Survivors and their advocates claim that bribery and intimidation are among the key stumbling blocks to combating abuse in the community.

But in an interview with the Forward in May, Hynes said that it has been almost impossible to prosecute people for witness tampering. He said that the best way of securing a witness tampering conviction was with the help of multiple witnesses or by convincing a victim to wear a recording device. So far, he said, both methods had been unsuccessful.

A spokesman for the DA’s office refused to name those accused of witness tampering or to release any further details until after the arraignment.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.