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!
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • 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.