A Hasidic rabbi who advocates for victims of sexual abuse in the ultra-Orthodox community was injured when a chemical was thrown in his face.
Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg on Tuesday was walking down the street in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, where he lives, when a man approached him from behind, tapped him on his shoulder and then threw a chemical believed to be bleach in his face, according to reports.
Rosenberg, 62, was treated for burns on his face, around his eyes and in his left eye. He is expected to make a full recovery.
“He taps on my shoulder, he says ‘whoops’ and throws it in my face,” Rosenberg told the New York Daily News.
Rosenberg identified the attacker as the son of an accused child sex abuser. He blamed the attack on unrest in the Satmar community over the conviction of Nechemya Weberman on sex charges a day earlier.
“Because of the Weberman case, everything is upside down,” he told the News. “Everybody is crazy.”
The rabbi runs a website and blog for sex-abuse victims, as well as a telephone hot line.
He told New York media that he believes the attack was in retaliation for his support and assistance of the now 18-year-old female victim of Satmar Hasidic leader Weberman, who was convicted on Monday of 59 counts of sexual abuse of the woman when she was between the ages of 12 and 15 and went to him for counseling.
Police have not yet caught the attacker, though they reportedly have identified a suspect.
On Monday, Rosenberg accused another rabbi of abusing young boys in a blog post on his website, according to the New York Post.