A State Supreme Court jury in Brooklyn convicted a 54-year-old unlicensed therapist on Monday, after accusations that the man – who is a prominent member of the Satmar Hasidic community of Williamsburg – repeatedly sexually abused a young girl whom he was treating, according to the New York Times.
The trial of Nechemya Weberman began on Nov. 26, but was difficult to try because of a lack of physical evidence. The victim testified that Weberman had groped her in his office for three years – since she was 12 – and that he had forced her to perform oral sex.
Weberman was convicted of all 59 counts against him, and though his most serious charge carries a maximum sentence of 25 years, Weberman could be looking at a much longer prison time.
“The veil of secrecy has been lifted,” Charles Hynes, the Brooklyn district attorney told the Times. “The wall that has existed in parts of these communities has now been broken through. And as far as I’m concerned, it is very clear to me that it is only going to get better for people who are victimized in these various communities.”
Hynes’ office had previously been criticized for not dealing with accusations of sexual abuse in the ultra-Orthodox community aggressively enough.