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Out Of Control: Four Orthodox Men Caught Taking Pix of Sex Assault Victim on Stand Arrested

BROOKLYN — The sensational trial of an Orthodox Jewish rabbi and counselor accused  of sexually abusing a pre-teen girl was thrown into chaos today when four  men seated in the court were arrested for secretly taking pictures of the victim  and emailing them to friends and associates, DNAinfo.com New York has  learned.

The courtroom drama erupted early Thursday afternoon when a 17-year-old woman  took the stand to resume her gripping testimony against defendant Nechemya  Weberman, 54, who she said sexually abused her repeatedly when she was 12  years old.

Court officers suddenly spotted men in the audience snapping pictures on  their cellphones of her.

The officers privately alerted Supreme Court Judge John Ingram, who asked the  jurors to leave the room and allowed the guards to ask everyone in court to hand  over their cellphones and other electronic gadgets.

Four men were charged with judicial contempt for taking photos of an alleged sexual assault victim as she testified against Rabbi Nechemya Weberman Nov. 29, 2012.

Images of the victim were found on phones of four Hasidic men, who were  immediately arrested and charged with judicial contempt, a misdemeanor, sources  said. It’s illegal to take photos in a courtroom without permission.

The men — identified as Joseph Fried, Yona Weisman, Abraham Zupnick and Lemon  Juice — face up to a year in jail if they are convicted.

“Court officers observed audience members taking pictures with cell phone,” according to a court report. “Some of them may already have been uploaded to the  Internet.”

VIN News reports that the four men will be charged with criminal contempt in the second degree and face up to twelve months in jail if convicted.

A courtroom photo of the victim was posted online Thursday via Twitpic by at  least one Twitter user, who sources said is a Weberman supporter and whose  identity is being withheld to protect the victim.

An 18-year-old woman who knows the victim and was in the courtroom said she  did not notice the photos being taken but she was upset to hear what had  happened.

“It’s extremely disrespectful, especially in her community,” the woman  said. “It’s hard enough for her to stand in front of Weberman.”

The extraordinary development came the day after Weberman reportedly stood outside a conference room in Brooklyn Supreme  Court where the victim was preparing to go on the stand, in an apparent  attempt to intimidate her.

The explosive sexual abuse trial has sparked a controversial struggle within  the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community over whether members of the community should  take any allegations of sexual abuse to outside law enforcement.

Critics allege that the refusal to go to law enforcement has allowed  pedophiles and sexual abusers to flourish inside the tight-knit sect and escape  punishment while their victims and their families are intimidated into  silence.

Four men were arrested in June for allegedly  offering a $500,000 bribe to get the victim to drop her case. The men were  also accused of threatening to ruin her then-boyfriend’s business.

It is unclear what impact Thursday’s arrests may have on the trial, which  resumed after the incident.

The woman, who is now married, has testified for several days about being  forced to provide oral sex and being sexually abused by Weberman, whom she was  sent to for counseling for resisting some of her community’s traditional  ways.

She had testified that Weberman, a rabbi and unlicensed counselor in the  community, locked her in a room and abused her, even while others were working  in offices nearby.

Weberman’s lawyers maintain she hatched the tale to get revenge against him  and others for their restrictive garb and practices that she felt were overly  stifling.

Source: DNA Info

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Posted by on November 29, 2012. Filed under Jewish News,Slider. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to Out Of Control: Four Orthodox Men Caught Taking Pix of Sex Assault Victim on Stand Arrested

  1. OMG

    November 29, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Uneducated = Stupidy

  2. Nuts

    November 30, 2012 at 12:24 am

    These people are about to receive a real reality check and a once-in-a-lifetime course in manners.

    They are brought up with an attitude of “i do what i want” and theythink that the entire world would take that attitude.

    Welcome to the real world “Lemon Juice” LOL

    Just a little note on this character, his name was once Weingarten and legally changed his name to Lemon Juice.

    Noach Dear was one of the Judges when he tried doing it in NY and didnt approve it, so this bozo went to Albany and had it done there.

    Need i say more