Wrong Message On Weberman Sentencing
01/28/2013 - 13:06
Gary Rosenblatt
The Satmar sect, of which Necheyma Weberman is a member, mourn the death of their rabbi in 2006. Getty Images
The Satmar sect, of which Necheyma Weberman is a member, mourn the death of their rabbi in 2006. Getty Images

In sentencing Nechemya Weberman to 103 years in jail last week for sexually abusing a young woman from the Satmar chasidic community, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice John Ingram said he hoped to send a message “to all victims of sexual abuse that your cries will be heard and justice will be done.”

A noble intention, but the judge’s ruling could have the opposite message than intended for the chasidic community. No doubt Judge Ingram wanted to show that victims are taken seriously and that offenders will be dealt with harshly. But a community already deeply resistant to coming forward and reporting abuse to authorities may now reason that chasidic offenders are not treated like other offenders but are given far longer jail terms for their actions. As a result, the community may be all the more reluctant to press charges in an abuse case and seek to handle it internally, as they have until now, concluding that the system is biased against chasidim.

It may also help Weberman’s appeal, arguing that a chasidic man cannot get a fair ruling based on the unusually harsh sentence he received.

gary@jewishweek.org

Comments

He who does not see and assumes guilt is evil.

Gary, could you provide some statistics on average sentencing of pedophiles in various states, perhaps correlating duration of sentence to number of victims if possible?
We will then attempt to provide statistics demonstrating that pedophiles are serial predators, and also, that the recidivism rate for pedophiles is very high, compared to violent crimes---
this, in spite of the fact, that the crime is extremely under-reported. Nevertheless, when in treatment, pedophiles typically confess to a far greater number of victims, than that for which they have been arrested. Many professionals dealing with this population believe that life imprisonment, and chemical or physical castration are often the most appropriate "treatments".
Allowing the Satmars to appropriately control their pedophiles, is a pipe dream (and since I do not have the statistics, I am NOT asserting that their rate of offenders is higher than amongst other religious leaders with power.) Just how concerned were they prior to Weberman's high profile case?. Kol Hakavod to the unfortunate victim and to the DA. We have multiple examples of venerable institutions, such as YU, "handling" their offenders privately. Let them quietly receive unemployment at other educational institutions, just as long as they don't victimize ours
He who enables, or looks away is complicit in the crime.

Not only a harsh sentence, but a biased one.

Is the world happy to have a Jewish man convicted and sentenced on a "guess" ? This is where secular law is so different from Jewish Law and shows exactly why Jewish Law is righteous.

Right on target!Excellent!

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