CBS 2 New York
December 5, 2012
The counselor accused of sexually abusing a teenager for three years in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community testified Wednesday and said it never happened.
On the day his accuser turned 18 years old, Nechemya Weberman walked into court and told the jury he never sexually abused anyone inside his Brooklyn home office where he counseled people.
“Have you ever inappropriately touched (her)?” his lawyer asked.
“Never, ever,” was Weberman’s answer.
Weberman’s accuser belongs to the same Satmar, ultra-Orthodox sect as he does. Her parents felt her defiance was out of control and took her to be counseled by Weberman.
The well-known Weberman is accused of sexually abusing the then-12-year-old from 2007 to 2010 during counseling sessions.
In court, he remembered what she said during their first meeting.
“She literally asked me, ‘Why should I trust you? Why should I talk to you?’ She said I looked like a ‘Chassidish (expletive).’”
Over time, Weberman said he gained her trust.
“She started to open up, tell me things,” Weberman testified.
But after a few years of successful counseling came the breaking point — the arrest of a boyfriend she wasn’t supposed to have because of her strict religion.
The crux of the defense team’s case is that the alleged victim’s accusation is all driven by revenge.
Weberman strongly denied every having inappropriate relations with the young woman.
The 54-year-old father of 10 said he began counseling members of the Satmar community several years earlier.
Defense Attorney: “Did she say you were responsible for (her boyfriend’s) arrest?”
Defense Attorney: “Did she say she knew you told all her secrets to her father?”
Defense Attorney: “Did she tell you ‘we are going to get you?’”
Weberman testified he was arrested not long after that and didn’t see his accuser again until last week, when she told the jury he had sexually abused her for three years.
Weberman has been charged with 88 counts of sexual abuse against a minor.
Closing arguments in the case will be Thursday.