Brooklyn DA releases names of 46 convicted child sex-abusers who terrorized the Orthodox Jewish community from within
By Susan Edelman (NY Post)
July 21, 2013
The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office has convicted 45 men — and one woman — in sex-attack cases in the Orthodox Jewish community since it began a crackdown more than four years ago, officials say.
DA Charles Hynes gave The Post their names, except for several juveniles, in a major shift from his prior stance that publicizing the perverts could expose the victims to vicious intimidation or deter others from coming forward.
“We feel now it’s good for the community to know those who have been convicted,” said spokesman Jerry Schmetterer.
Hynes, who is running for re-election, has come under fire from critics who charge that his policies pander to ultra-Orthodox voters.
Of 118 cases pursued under a program called Kol Tzedek, Hebrew for “voice of justice,” 25 sex offenders have gotten jail time, officials said. The longest sentence — 103 years — went to Nechemya Weberman, an unlicensed therapist who had abused a girl starting when she was 12.
The DA still refuses to name those arrested in pending cases for horrific crimes, including:
* The kidnapping and sexual assault of a 4-year-old girl;
* The sodomy of two young boys in a synagogue;
* A 33-year-old man accused of molesting three boys, 13, 14 and 15, in his yeshiva.
Of the convictions, 33 were felonies, 13 misdemeanors. Ten other offenders copped to violations. The only convicted woman sexually abused her son and was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison.
In some cases, the predators were not Orthodox Jewish, but the children were. For instance, Hector Valerdi, a yeshiva custodian, pleaded guilty to 1st Degree sex abuse last year after he molested a 10-year-old ultra-Orthodox girl.
DA officials say victims still fear ostracism for reporting a rapist or child molester from their religious community. At least 10 cases were dismissed and seven downgraded because victims backed out or parents refused to let their kids testify.
But prosecutors believe victims have gained courage since monsters like Weberman — whose supporters allegedly tried to bribe the victim and threaten her boyfriend’s business — have been put behind bars.
In a recent case, a DA team of lawyers, a social worker and a liaison to the Orthodox community visited a home where a man allegedly sodomized two stepsons. Long talks with the family and their rabbi finally yielded their cooperation. The stepdad pleaded guilty.
“More people are willing to come forward,” said Rhonnie Jaus, chief sex-crimes prosecutor. “There’s been a change in attitude — more accept coming into the criminal justice system.”